Little Mix, champions of the reality show circuit, and well-established purveyors of solid pop music, return with their fourth album, the ebulliently-titled Glory Days — but have Jade, Jesy, Perrie, and Leigh-Anne secured their pop royalty status with this latest collection, or does it all drift by in a daze?
Fortunately for this record, Glory Days learns from the lessons of its predecessors, and ditches a lot of the schmaltzy ballads that cluttered previous albums, and as a result, the album is the most uptempo and upbeat churned out by the band yet. Lead single ‘Shout Out To My Ex‘ is ferociously fun, with a chorus that’s notably similar to GRL’s equally good ‘Ugly Heart’, while songs such as promo track ‘You Gotta Not’, continues the band’s insistence of feminist power-pop with earworms that are irresistible.
The few ballads that do survive the cull are all the stronger for it; ‘Your Love’ is a sweet, rose-tinted romantic song that earns its spot readily, while ‘Nothing Else Matters’ is a midtempo power ballad, alternating between sincere verses and an ABBA-esque chorus that’s set to raise the roof on stadiums.
The newfound emphasis on the dancefloor also serves them particularly well. ‘Power’ is a Tomorrowland oasis of revving motorcycles, aggressive drumbeats, and soaring, empowering lyrics. ‘No More Sad Songs’ is an anthemic tears-on-the-dancefloor number, while current single ‘Touch’, a surefire club hit waiting in the wings, is a joy to behold. ‘Touch’ even contains the album’s sweetest lyric wrapped in a propulsive beat: “Just a touch of your love is enough to knock me off of my feet all week.” These lyrics, combined with the maturing outlook – ‘Private Show’ is a sultry banger worthy of Britney’s single of the same name – reinforce the girls’ position as young, strong women.
It seems as though Little Mix’s album trajectory has seemed to imprint, for better or worse, onto different ages of their fanbase as they themselves mature; ‘DNA’ was their most innocent album, while ‘Salute’ and ‘Get Weird’ were aimed at teenagers. Glory Days is their chrysalis into fully-matured, independent young women, both on-stage and off, and it is well-welcomed from the quartet in question.