REVIEW: Little Mix – Salute: An accomplished R&B record showing off bags of progression
It isn’t very often that an album release takes me by genuine surprise, but it’s safe to say that Little Mix’s latest release, Salute, did exactly that.
I was lucky enough to get to hear the album early and I haven’t stopped listening to the stream ever since it landed in my inbox as their second studio album is near perfection.
A while ago, Little Mix said that they wanted a more mature sound on their second studio album with a lot more R&B influences, and this is exactly what they have achieved.
The first track to be taken from the album, Move, was very different to what we had heard before and fact that the single didn’t have a proper chorus threw me a little bit, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from the album. However, I need not have worried as Salute is an accomplished progression from DNA.
For a while now, we have needed a new girl group to take a firm hold of the UK charts. We’ve had Girl’s Aloud and now they’re dead in the water. The Saturdays never really step up to the mark, so there really is a gap in the market. From listening to Salute, I get a Destiny’s Child vibe… their harmonies are on point!
Title track, Salute opens the album perfectly. It’s filled to the brim with alarms, harmonies and a bouncing backing track. It has everything you’d want in a track. Salute would serve as an amazing opening to the girls’ tour to get the audience really pumped and it would, strangely, work as a single as it’s very infectious. The girls try and recruit all the women out there to salute and join their army.
Following on from the amazing album opener, we’re brought to the debut single from the album, Move. Move is enough to get anyone up and chest-pumping.
The album isn’t full of body-popping hits as it also has its fair share of ballads. These Four Walls is a haunting train of emotion and is one of my favourite tracks on the album. There’s also the likes of Good Enough which is another slow, emotional track. “Seems like I never compared”, “Am I still not good enough? Am I still not worth that much?” they sing. Let’s just hope whoever the pillock is, is cringing out there!
One of the things to be noted about the album is that the harmonies are out in full force and one album track in particular, by the name of Boy really shows off the girls harmonies. The first 54-seconds of the track features harmonies that would even make the biggest non-fan turn their head and think ‘waw!’ This is one of the tracks that gave me the Destiny’s Child vibe, and I loved it. There’s no denying that Little Mix are very talented girls and if they continue in the right direction, they’ll crack the world, never mind America.
Nothing Feels Like You is one of the tracks that I could picture with a massive production when it’s performed live. The thumping drums, the clapping that kicks off the track – it’s an anthem in its own right. Competition is also big on the instruments, with the piano lead-in and the occasional brass instruments in the background. The track wreaks of the 90s and the hook is that infectious, you’ll be singing the chorus all day.
For me, Little Me is the highlight of the whole album. The girls sing about what they would tell their younger selves if they had the chance to go back. “Wish I knew back then, what I know now”, “I’d tell her speak up, tell her to shout out, talk a bit louder, be a bit prouder. Tell her she’s wonderful, beautiful, everything she doesn’t see”. It’s a perfect second single and has ‘chart hit’ written all over it and it’s very reminiscent of Change Your Life from DNA.
The album is started off with a call for women all over the globe to join LM’s army, and the album is therefore rounded off in true style. The military-esque ‘A Different Beat’ brings the album to an end perfectly and really allows you to think about the cohesive album you’ve just listened to.
It’s very rare that I give an album 5 stars, but that’s the only rating this album deserves. Little Mix have come such a long way and Salute is an accomplished and cohesive second studio album which demonstrates that there’s a lot more to Little Mix than we first thought. There’s one thing for sure – they don’t need to worry about those second-album blues. I’m positive Salute will not only crack the UK charts, but it will also be the album to crack the US for Little Mix. I hope that the girls continue in this direction as it’s what suits them the most and I’m excited to see what’s next for Little Mix. We potentially have a big girl-band out our hands…
If you haven’t got your copy yet, I suggest you rush out to buy a physical copy or get it on iTunes as you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how far the girls have come, how much they have matured and how much of an R&B influence the album has. Simon Cowell must have those $$ signs in his eyes!