It’s that time of year again. The time that separates your Treyc Cohens from your Stacey Solomons, your Conway Sisters from your Marcus Collinses. The time that the rest of us welcome as much as the resurrection of Jimmy Savile. That’s right, it’s time… to face… the debut album of last year’s X-Factor winner.
Now we here at PressPLAY very much welcomed the victory of Rhythmix Little Mix. However, and Lord knows we try, we still can’t tell apart ‘ma little muffins’ so we’re going to call them Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, Lemon Poppyseed, and Carrot & Courgette (for the one no one really gives a shit about).
We all heard and loved Wings with its three different choruses, not to mention DNA’s effortless linking of genetics to men being c*nts. But does the rest of the album match up? Short answer: the Saturdays better be shitting their brightly-coloured pants, because there hasn’t been a pop debut this cream-worthy since Chasing Lights.
With all credit to Molly & the gang, Change Your Life does sound like a Sats off-cut, and Always Be Together plods along with tick-box ballad-by-numbers. But then we get to the Stereo Soldier (nothing to do with Cheryl Cole’s limp-wristed ‘army’). The opening lines sound like Stooshe in the worst possible way… and we get to a bad-ass chorus that Little Mix do so very well. Job done.
A couple of songs later, we’re hit with a dial tone to mark the start of the effing incredible How Ya Doin. From Zhane’s Request Line to Gaga’s Telephone, any song based around telephonetics is an instant hit in our book, and this does nothing to change that – you could well be listening to SWV or (shhh) En Vogue. This should be the next single, without doubt. (If not that then Make You Believe, the second standout track.)
Things continue to improve. We go through tracks breezier than the entire Natasha Bedingfield back catalogue, including the mandatory alien-themed pop song that seems to have swept the industry since Katy Perry and her cupcake-jubblies molested ET (song in question: Red Planet ft T-Boz… nope, no idea who that is either, but we’re guessing he’s some sort of pound-shop T-Pain. WE JEST.).
Basically, we challenge you to dislike this album. It’s cheery, infectious, and at times recalls the absolute best of 90s R&B girl groups. It might take a second album to properly cement their status but, needless to say, for the next few weeks it will be our civic duty to stay on suicide watch for Parade.
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