In February, Payge wrote a post for Velociriot! about the return of girl power pop music. The post was Freshly Pressed — a shining moment for her, the site, and the post itself. The post was essentially about powerful women in music who empower young girls and women with their music. A large portion of the post was dedicated to the British group Little Mix, whom I knew at the time only via .gifsets on Tumblr.
On Tuesday, May 28, Little Mix’s debut album DNA dropped in the United States. The album has had huge commercial success in the UK — driven by the fact that the group won a season of the massive hit “The X Factor”. It peaked at #3 on the UK charts. Thus far, it’s had similar success in the US — on its release date, it was the second most purchased album on iTunes.
I pre-ordered a copy of the deluxe version some weeks ago after hearing the single “How Ya Doin’?”, a rerecording of an album track featuring Missy Elliott. The song recalls tracks from bands like Dream and Destiny’s Child — four girls saying goodbye to an annoying ex who won’t stop fucking calling.
Once DNA downloaded to my iTunes, it was all I listened to for almost two days. The four members of Little Mix — Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards — present a range of voices and styles that don’t seem like they should work together, but do. Each woman in this band is completely her own, yet their friendship is obviously very strong and their voices harmonize so well it’s chill-inducing.
Little Mix’s music is, as Payge pointed out in her post, incredibly empowering. The group’s first single, “Wings”, is a song about self-love and not caring what people think. There are several tracks on the album along the same vein, which is incredibly refreshing. Even the songs that are about love or heartbreak present an undercurrent of “fuck you, this is who I am” attitude that’s admirable. I’m all for girl power pop music, and Little Mix delivers in spades.
My favorite tracks on the album (thus far) are “We Are Who We Are”, “Stereo Soldier”, “How Ya Doin’?” (though I still like the Missy Elliott single more), and the acoustic cover of fun. and Janelle Monae’s “We Are Young”. This album makes me feel good and it’s the perfect kind of music to blast on the highway with the windows down when summer temperatures are high. Plus, it’s always nice to have a bunch of badass, talented ladies to sing along with about self-empowerment and saying “fuck you” to beauty standards.
The music on DNA is fun and breezy and makes me feel nostalgic for when I first started listening to the Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child — which was about 15 years ago. Powerful women have always been present in the music industry, but lately it seems like music that encourages women to be themselves and not give a fuck is taking over in a big way. Little Mix has a lot to do with that, and it’s awesome to see (and hear).
I suspect this album will be on repeat for most of the summer and I’m not complaining one bit.