After dropping their debut album Reflection just last year, the group released their second studio album, 7/27 (the date they were formed), last month. Group member Lauren Jauregui states the new album ‘represents the rebirth of Fifth Harmony’ and showcases a more vulnerable side to the group. They worked with hitmakers from Max Martin, Stargate, and Tinashe and managed to secure three notable features on the album along the way; Ty Dolla $ign, Fetty Wap, and Missy Elliot.
The opening song ‘That’s My Girl’ is not a song, it’s a statement, and a reminder of what the group represents – girl power. It is basically a bolder and fiercer version of the group’s 2015 hit song ‘Worth It’ with a powerful chorus and strutting bass. The line “destiny said you gotta get up and get it, get mad independent, don’t you ever forget it” will be stuck in your head all day and you can’t help but feel empowered by this song. Having already been used for the theme of the Rio Olympics, you can sure expect to hear this banger over the summer.
Next up is ‘Work From Home’ (featuring Ty Dolla $ign). This song is already one of the biggest songs of the year and has become the group’s biggest song in their career thus far, having reached number 1 on pop radio and climbed into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart (a feat last held by PCD in 2008) as well as reaching number 4 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It’s catchy, it’s fun, and the Rugrats theme in the background of the song adds a nice touch.
‘The Life’, co-written by Tinashe, is another banger and showcases the group’s fun and frivolous side, despite the lyrics being repetitive and talking about getting ‘lit’ and drinking Mai Tais poolside. This song shows how young the group are (the youngest member being 18) and it is exactly what you would expect them to sing about.
After three back-to-back bangers, ‘Write On Me’ is a nice addition to the pace of the album. It’s slow, it’s mellow, and the lyrics showcase a vulnerable side to the group. One of the two songs produced by Kygo, it is filled with trap vibes and harmonies showing the new and fresh direction the group have taken.
‘All In My Head’ is the first and only song on the album the group have co-written on. Dinah Jane dominates this reggae-influenced banger and stands out amongst the rest. ‘Flex’ is definitely the song of the summer and serves as the girl’s official second single of 7/27. It also features Fetty Wap keeping up with radio trends and popularity, which the group is known for. With its urban-pop undertone and summer feel, it is the perfect follow up single for ‘Work From Home’ and should become a summer anthem.
In the tail-end of the album, the group start talking about love, break-ups, insecurities and feelings, with ‘I Lied’, ‘Squeeze’, ‘Gotta Get Better’, ‘Scared Of Happy’ and ‘Dope’. At this point, we are introduced to Grown Harmony, with explicit language such as, “you’re pretty f****** dope, just so you know” and a more mature side to the group showing how far they have come since their X Factor days.
In addition, ‘Not That Kinda Girl’ is a banger and one of the highlights on the album. Featuring Missy Elliot, the song is infused with 80s inspired synths and old school stomps that you can blare out of your speakers. Even though it seems more Janet Jackson than Fifth Harmony, the group do it justice and leave you wanting more.
Closing the album is ‘No Way’. It gives the five-piece the opportunity to showcase their vocals and you are reminded why they are a group. “I know you don’t want me anymore, I can see it in your face,” Lauren croons at the beginning, and you know you’re in for an emotional rollercoaster. Definitely a stand out on the album and the direction the group should take on their next album.
Fifth Harmony could’ve been another failed product of the reality show, but they worked hard and people sat up and noticed them. Fast forward four years and they have managed to become the biggest girl group in the world, and rightfully so. They may not be household names in the UK as of yet, but after this album, Lauren Jauregui, Dinah Jane Hansen, Normani Kordei, Ally Brooke Hernandez and Camila Cabello, a.k.a Fifth Harmony, are here to make their mark.
Kettle rating: 3.5/5
Are you a fan of Fifth Harmony? What do you think of the album? Let us know in the comments below!