Review: Little Mix embraces their feminist side with LM5
November 17, 2018
Filed under A&E
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Little Mix is a girl group best known for their bold and unapologetic music. Consisting of Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Little Mix has confessed to struggling to find themselves in a male-dominated world. LM5, the group’s most recent album, is a record filled to the brim with both feminist bops and heart-wrenching ballads, a representation of the people Little Mix have grown to be.
“Joan of Arc,” the album’s first promotional single, is not about what one thinks when they first see the name. “Joan of Arc” is a song meant for dancing, no doubt, yet despite the silly lyrics it contains a meaningful message. Hidden between lyrics like “Fan of myself / I’m stanning myself,” is a theme of growth into their own woman. The transition from “I really need a man” and “I need a man” from previous albums to the chorus of “I don’t need a man / If I’m loving you it’s cause I can,” in “Joan of Arc” screams of character growth and is a satisfying change from love-sick, man-dependent mainstream songs. With a pre-chorus of “Oh, you are that feminist type / Hell yeah I am,” “Joan of Arc” marks Little Mix’s embracement of confidence and independence.
In all of Little Mix’s past albums, they have had at least one ballad about self-growth and self-worth, and LM5 is no different. “The Cure,” despite having the same title as a million other songs, manages to stand out. “The Cure,” is about recovering from dark times and learning to be happy and a new person, as they have found the cure to their dark thoughts. The four girls manage to convey real, deep emotion in their voices throughout the song, and the effect of their harmony enhances it’s meaning.
Little Mix has faced controversy in many forms, ranging from their “scandalous” clothes to their many breakups, the most famous being Edwards’ breakup with Zayn Malik. “Wasabi” addresses their scandals in an upbeat yet chill song that dismisses the talk as merely tabloid-drama. The beat changes to a rock-like sound for Nelson’s lower register of “All the ugly things you say / Come and say ’em to my face.” The quick change in beat then equally quick change back emphasizes those lyrics and changes the song into a more defiant one; Little Mix is aware of exactly what everyone says about them and they are willing to fight back.
Before LM5 came out, some of the lyrics circulating were “If you never shouted to be heard / You ain’t lived in a woman’s world.” Little Mix’s largely female fan-base, including myself, understandably went insane. “Woman’s World” is a deluxe track written when the #MeToo movement started gaining popularity and is about the pain women face as a result of sexism. Little Mix has spent their career being constantly trivialized as a result of being a girl group in a largely male-run industry, and they’ve decided to use their influence for good. In a time when women are undermined and men still dominate everything, “Woman’s World” is a therapeutic breath of fresh air.
As important as the lyrics are to the making of LM5, the sound is what really determines the overall tone. Unlike Little Mix’s past albums, which consisted of solely mainstream dance pop, LM5 seamlessly blends multiple genres into their songs. The change from childish pop to a mature mood signifies their growth from newcomers in the music industry to women who know exactly what they want.
LM5 is Little Mix’s first album where they had almost all creative control, and the previous lack of influence is what recently split them from their label, Syco. Their newfound power when writing shines through as every song has a personal touch, Little Mix knows what their fans want to listen to more than any male higher-up does.
The most important part of Little Mix is that they are specifically a girl band, not just a band. Their music consists of music tailored to the female experience, and LM5 is the epitome of their modern and confident style. While the world may have made strives in gender equality, LM5 confronts the remaining sexism and gender inequality. Edwards, Thirlwall, Nelson and Pinnock fought for the right to be involved in the creative process of nearly every song of LM5, when previously they had been dismissed as a result of being women. Among albums with tacky pop that ignores reality, LM5 is a light in the dark for any girl who is fed up with the struggles she faces.
Amelia Foster is a sophomore and Arts and Entertainment Editor. When she's not in room 112, she's probably thinking about journalism and all the things...