London clubnight U SUCK know a thing or two about break-up bangers. By hand-picking the most empowering anthems around, you’ll be forgetting your butthead ex and this butthead year in no time. Less “Unbreak My Heart” and more “Since You Been Gone”, it’s a night that’s all about you and the powerful person that you are.
So when Little Mix appeared on The X Factor blasting their exes and sporting the kind of screw you attitude that U SUCK pride themselves on, it was only right that they tackle the group’s latest album. Little Mix themselves have claimed this to be their break-up album, so U SUCK’s Kate and Sammy pressed play on Glory Days to find out if "Shout Out To My Ex" was just a fluke or if these ladies have produced an album worthy of your deuces.
Sammy Maine: This is my favourite song Little Mix have ever released.
Kate Solomon: What!!!!
Sammy: Yeah. I've thought about it a lot.
Kate: More than Move? Salute? I like it, but I don't get the acoustic guitars in the chorus.
Sammy: Yes. I feel the chorus is so, so on point.
Kate: Feels like it could have gone off but the acoustic strums and weird spanishy bit really reign it in.
Sammy: It's because acoustic guitars make it more "real" SO LEGIT. best bit.
Kate: But I do think it's a good kiss off. Do you think it's really about Zayn or is that just a handy PR hook? I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if he's terrible in bed, so could be for real.
Sammy: Me neither. If he needs to sing about sex that much.
Kate: I think we also have to say that this song DOES sound loads like "Ugly Heart".
Sammy: Definite PR hook though. It's not surprising that there's rumours about Jesy's relationship swirling around this week.
Sammy: Why did Bieber’s latest album have to make all pop music sound the same?
Kate: Goddammit Bieber.
Sammy: Although I do agree that all pop songs need pan pipes.
Kate: This song is very nu-RnB 2015.
Sammy: Would definitely attempt to dance to this in da klub.
Kate: I don't feel like Little Mix are exactly pushing the genre forward so much as just copying it.
Kate: it's not very sexy for a song about sex is it. The shouty gang vocals do not make me want to jump into bed.
Sammy: No. And it reminds me of a time when I had to pay to get into a Wetherspoons when I went on a hen do and there was a huge dance floor and everyone was sweaty and awkward. This song would be played there.
Kate: Isn't it illegal to pay to get into Wetherspoons.
Sammy: It was THREE POUNDS. It was the best worst night of my life.
Kate: You got done m8. I like the hollow drainpipe bass. That is a 2016 pop music cliche I am into.
Sammy: Okay, so Meghan Trainor wrote this right?
Kate: This song has been in my head for days. No, she did ‘You Gotta Not’ or maybe both?
Sammy: Ohhhhhh it sounds like she could've written this too.
Kate: Anyway, this song has the exact same backing track as Beyonce's "Superpower" and Rihanna's "Love On The Brain" and it is not as good as either of those songs
Sammy: "Superpower" is underrated imo. What a banger. Ok, this really didn't need that vinyl thing in it.
Kate: I do like how they've coupled the slow 6/8 ballroom ballad swoon with the fuck u message though.
Sammy: Do you think they're trying to grow up a bit?
Kate: Yes, but I also think they're going about it in a very cynical way.
Sammy: I do really like the chord progression on the chorus. Little Mix know how to do harmonies. THAT'S FOR SURE.
Kate: I think they should have taken a year to make a grown up record not rushed out a hotchpotch of things they've heard elsewhere. I like “I wanna say shoo shoo, I wanna say screw” you.
Sammy: ooooooophhhh that bit where the music drops out. GO PERRIE GO. THROWING MY DEUCES UP RN.
Kate: “You cheated, You lied” – is that a Shangri-la's ref? I like to think that Little Mix hang out and listen to the Shangri-Las
Kate: NOBODY NEEDS TO DO A SONG WITH CHARLIE PUTH ESPECIALLY LITTLE MIX.
Sammy: Okay, so I really liked Charlie Puth's song he did with Selena Gomez. BUT he has a face that I would like to punch. I can imagine him winking at them whilst he plays the piano on this one.
Kate: Can you think of a pop song that has whistling in it and isn't the worst thing in the world? I’m sure there's a good one at some point in the history of modern music, but this one is not it
Sammy: Sitting on the dock of the bay! Young Folks was good in a pre nu-rave uni era type of way.
Kate: I can't stand Young Folks. This is better than Young Folks. This feels like a song for the end credits of a rom-com.
Sammy: YES. When you’re 14 and on a first date.
Kate: ...and you stay right to the end because you're too awkward to stand up and leave.
Sammy: I can see Justin Timberlake doing some gag reels right now.
Kate: Some zany fonts!
Kate: "You Gotta Not" is literally Meghan Trainor’s "No". Why did she write them the exact song she had already released?
Sammy: Which I feel is a great song but this weird static beat is not working.
Kate: There's not much life to it but I do quite like the vibe.
Sammy: I loathe songs that say "Let's Go!" in them etc. And I can see that we've yet to lose the "hey" in pop songs. Ohhhh no to that key change; we're not Westlife, lads.
Kate: There's a time and a place for modulation and that place is "Love on Top".
Sammy: I am enjoying the fact that there's more ‘f.u.’ songs than ‘I love u’ songs up until this point.
Kate: I don't like songs that say 'I need a man'. What is this weird echoey shouty bit?!?! Bad decision.
Sammy: I'm glad she still had her British accent but that was really, really awkward.
Kate: Little Mix do not need a man.
Kate: This song is the worst thing I have ever heard. It's so cringe. That 2013 backing track.
Sammy: I'm speechless.
Kate: Oh god it's so embarrassingly bad,
Sammy: Like this would work really well if RuPaul sang it.
Kate: Who made them do this? Who had dirt on them? Who had a gun pointed at them? GoT reference? NO! What's that weird faux jamaican accent they're putting on too.
Sammy: ALEGGGG BEH.
Kate: HAHAHA. Even Rihanna couldn't make this song work. BAD. 0/10. NEXT.
Kate: That is a power opening. There's too much dry drum programming on this album.
Sammy: I feel they do really well when it's more powerful and less forced-sexy.
Kate: What does this sound like? it sounds like something. "WHO GOT THE POWER" DUBSTEP BREAK DOWN. God. Christ. What!?
Sammy: This was created especially for those snap chat ads on X Factor.
Kate: What is going on?
Sammy: This is like a Cher Lloyd / Lady Sovereign mash-up track.
Kate: Aw, whatever happened to Lady Sov?
Sammy: I HATE THAT 'WHO GOT THE POWER' VOICE. He's allowed to say 'SO LEGIT' but nothing else.
Kate: This chipmunk vocal effect needs to die. This is such a confusing album.
Sammy: It is so so confused.
Kate: It's so all over the place.
Sammy: 'MOTORBIKE BIKE BIKE BIKE'
Kate: They’re focus grouping a load of different out of date styles to see what's gonna work.
Sammy: This is actually upsetting me.
Kate: They deserve better than this.
Kate: "Power" could have been a good song. I think it has the kernel of a good song somewhere within it but they fucked it.
Sammy: It's trying to fit too many previous 2015/16 hit songs in one.
Kate: It's a total pastiche of all the worst chart hits of the year.
Kate: BALLAD OCLOCK.
Sammy: WAS THAT STEEL PANS? I love steel pans.
Kate: That beat is so dated. I don't think they're legit steel pans. I feel like the vibraphone keyboard setting is getting some time in the spotlight. "there ain't no heartache you can't undo" False.
Sammy: So this is their reggae attempt.
Kate: I’m not sure why they needed one.
Sammy: I think it's quite boring; I’m up for a Little Mix pop reggae track but this is not it. Leigh-Anne sounds great though; I'm glad they gave her some Perrie bits.
Sammy: Ooooph Jesy is great on slow numbers. I really like stripped back Little Mix; it feels less desperate.
Kate: I wish she'd dial the wobbles back in tho.
Sammy: Oooooo there's a hint of that Bieber dolphin.
Kate: From verrrry far away.
Sammy: Just winking at us from the water.
Kate: This is pleasant enough; it's boring though isn't it. 'I only like myself when I'm with you' is not a very empowering message.
Sammy: I Arthur'd my fist on that bit. I feel like Spice Girls could've released this in their 'Goodbye' era and it would have done really well though. Which shows it's a bit dated again tbh.
Kate: Yeah if they were splitting up and they changed the lyrics to be about how there's nobody like each other because they're all amazing friends.
Sammy: We just made a hit.
Kate: It could potentially be up there with "Never Forget".
Sammy: It's another Bieber reject.
Kate: I wish they'd stop doing poor imitations of other hits. This feels lazy.
Sammy: It's infuriating.
Kate: The hook isn't even a complete hook. STRANGER DANGER.
Sammy: I feel like it's obvious that a bunch of dudes in suits wrote 10 hit songs down on a list and said recreate them.
Kate: Yeah and then a bunch of other dudes wrote them. I wonder how much input Little Mix had…
Sammy: Their performances are gr8. 10/10 for effort.
Kate: "Get Weird" was better than this and that was also a very patchy effort.
Sammy: Agree 100%. I just yawned. Not a gr8 vibe.
Kate: I’m so not on board with "No More Sad Songs" that i'm like GIVE US SOME SAD SONGS.
Sammy: OMG. This is great!
Kate: I'd love if this was a Britney cover.
Sammy: This is such a early 90s R&B vibe <3
Kate: Just like Janet Jackson.
Sammy: Oh ffs, it just went south. Why do they have to do these horrendous drops.
Kate: They overuse them massively.
Sammy: NO WHY NO.
Kate: It's such a lazy shortcut.
Sammy: The verses on this are so so on point.
Kate: lol at the false record scratching.
Sammy: It sounds exactly like an early '00s song.
Kate: This sounds exactly like about 4 other songs. None of which i can think of.
Sammy: I can't remember the name! That's what they want though right? They want us to think we know it so it sticks in our brain and makes that $$$.
Kate: I really like this one!!! hello Jeppo intro.
Sammy: Okay, this is Jeppo-like and I am fully ON BOARD.
Kate: All the way down to the celtic sax.
Sammy: They can copy Jeppo all they like, I'm always going to be down.
Kate: They haven't got the husky lovelorn urgency to their voices though.
Sammy: The chorus sucks less on this one.
Kate: The chorus is brilliant. It feels quite christmassy too.
Sammy: This is should be their next single.
Kate: They could stick some jingle bells on it and go for christmas number 1.
Sammy: Synths forever.
Kate: They've been banging on about how this is their breakup album but it isn't is it?
Sammy: Absolutely not..
Kate: Most of these songs are about how much they love and need this guy.
Sammy: It's like a 70/30 mix, which is a normal pop album.
Kate: Millennial woop. The problem with making this the last track is that i wouldn't sit through the rest of Glory Days to get to it; it's technically a nice closing number though.
Sammy: No way. They put their best songs on the album first and last which is clever but also I'm just going to skip through them all.
Kate: This should've been a double A side single. Ditch the rest. Do a proper album for 2018.
Kate: The chest thumping empowerment of "Shout Out To My Ex" is totally undermined by the rest of it, even other supposedly fuck you songs like "FU" and "You Gotta Not". It doesn't feel like a very empowered album. It feels like a lot of suits are making a lot of decisions and the result is this crappy bricolage of Bieber whistles and 2013 beats.
Little Mix are a brilliant pop band, but it feels like no care went into this album - and that makes it really difficult to care about it now that it's out. I'd still go off to "Shout Out To My Ex" though.
Sammy: I feel like Syco are worried that Little Mix are not nearing the end of their career but that newer acts are coming along and they needed something quick to get them in the charts again. That plus using Perrie's break-up means $$$ and a lot of interest, meaning they only needed one FU song to get that attention and in turn, could write a load of filler afterwards.
I love Little Mix and think they're one of the greatest pop bands but for them to be able to stick around longer than Leon Jackson, they need to do their own thing rather than copying others.
Kate: Still want them to come to U SUCK.
Sammy: Here's hoping.