As much as we hate the word, ‘weird’ is the new thing, innit? People are celebrating the offbeat, what with the likes of Grimes and Sky Ferreira poster girls for pop. But let’s be clear from the outset – Get Weird might be a little kooky, but very much in the realms of the chart pop. If you’re here to find some sort of girl-band interpretation of Tanya Tagaq, you best turn back now.
In the hands of Little Mix, even a clumsy title ought to feel like a clever disguise for their tremendous brand of chart-bothering harmonies and boy-booting girl power. They are, after all, two for two in our eyes, a roll that initially seems set to continue when Black Magic rollicks all over the shop with a chorus that feels like it’ll endure an apocalypse. But where DNA felt way better than we gave the girls credit for, and Salute built in a manner that might rival Destiny’s Child, here Little Mix become more of the SyCo girl group we’d always feared.
That’s not to say it’s an entirely bad album, but that inventive, world-conquering edge seems to have fallen prey to commercial smoothness. Love Me Like You is less club night and more prom night, while Weird People might be the go-to for kids’ parties for the next year. Sure it’s all saccharine and harmless fun, but it’s like watching a Pixar film without any references to be enjoyed beyond the perceived demographic.
Which is a shame really, because Little Mix seem to have taken a step back from their brilliance. There’s a flaccid Jason Derulo ballad – far too many ballads all over, in fact – with past flourishes just about recalled on Hair and OMG. The rest? Well, girls, we expected this sort of thing from Fifth Harmony but not from you. Get ‘weird’ out of your system and come back to us as the international stars we know you can be.
Get Weird by Little Mix can be ordered here.