Right. We’re happy to hold up our hands and admit when we’re wrong, so here it is: we’re sorry for all the shade, Fifth Harmony. We’ve been thinking of you as some sort of sub-Saturdays (All Fired Up, your faves could never etc) but the way this quintet stomp out of the doors on 7/27 leaves some finely-diced girlband cocaine under their heels.
Proof: the pounding march of That’s My Girl. The poolside party vibes on This Life. The grotty club wines of I Lied. Each song they lay down feels a mile away from the phoned-in debut; that might be something to do with the production team they’ve employed (hello Martin et al but also some fire writing from Tinashe), though there also feels like a genuine smoothness in their chemistry. It culminates in the tremendous gallop that is Scared of Happy which, if anyone has a lick of sense, ought to be the next single along with all of the club mixes you can muster.
Of course, there are the usual pitfalls of this type of thing – saying literally nothing we’ve never heard before (“you were my friend, straight and no chaser” – no thanks, Write On Me), and mid-tempo jams like Gonna Get Better and Squeeze not quite matching the full-on energy of the bangers before it. But fuck us if this isn’t just bloody good fun, an album full of radio-ready chart jams even if the Missy Elliott feature has a serious Little Mix hangover. Fifth Harmony are earning every shred of their new identity, and if 7/27 sounds less a date and more a jumbo jet than that’s quite fitting since this lot are quite the unstoppable roar.