Little Mix are the best pop act around, a fact that the title of their fourth album proudly announces – welcome to the Glory Days.
Opening track and lead single ‘Shout Out to My Ex’ sets the tone with its anthemic chorus, and girl power lyrics which bite. This song is the new ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’, but the album is far less lamenting than Taylor Swift’s Red.
Ferocious female empowerment is strong on this record. Even though the girls are mostly singing about relationships with men, they’re venturing into territory that few dare to explore. Yes, they’re singing about sex. Explicitly. And a lot. It’s still rare that sex is sung about from a woman’s perspective – female desire and pleasure are very much taboo. But with songs like strutting club anthem ‘Touch’ and funky dance tune ‘Private Show’, Little Mix tell us that they like it hot, and they are not ashamed of that.
The only low point on this album is ‘You Gotta Not’, which expresses dated ideals of masculinity and includes the body-shaming lyric “they only show off your muffin top”. However, the girls do win points for the line “is you afraid of Blue’s Clues?” – because who doesn’t love a good reference to noughties children’s TV?
Many pop artists have been walking away from pop music in recent years, rejecting it in favour of ‘a more mature sound’. Yawn. Thankfully, Little Mix know how to grow and experiment creatively without being boring and pretentious.
Glory Days is a mix of perfect power pop – with notable noughties influences and flirtatious 50s vibes blended in – and bold bangers made for the club.
Sophia Simon Bashall
(Image: Digital Spy)