While this year’s girl-group hopefuls Four of Diamonds were booted off The X Factor live shows after two measly weeks, 2011 victors Little Mix prove that our appetite for four-part harmony is strong as ever.
Their fourth album is a chart-ready triple threat of weepy piano ballads, pop bangers and on-trend, Bieberesque EDM. Themes range from breakups to makeups, but Jade, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Perrie somewhat make up for failing the musical Bechdel test by irreverently namechecking Game of Thrones and kids animation Blues Clues.
Touch, Power and No More Sad Songs offer club drops and shimmery basslines, while Oops combines consciously retro doo-wopishness with a guest appearance from US popster Charlie Puth. Elsewhere, Nobody Like You offers full-on Kleenex-at-the-ready fragility and echoey vocals, and Shout Out to My Ex, which debuted at No 1 on the singles chart at the end of last month, is four minutes of lush, stompy (debatably faux) empowerment.
Yes, the message here is probably as substantial as Girl Power once was, but this is chart-pop perfection nonetheless.
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