Little Mix won what was arguably a weak season of The X-Factor UK, and it didn’t help matters that they were a group manufactured during the show itself. Then again, pop groups in general don’t have much artistic integrity, as most of them are created by pop moguls after cherry picking those with the most marketable looks from various auditions and casting couch games.
In DNA, these ladies try to follow a musical route that combines the sassy pop frothiness of Spice Girls and Girls Aloud, with a degree of streetwise attitude one had seen in TLC and All Saints. These ladies are held back in their efforts, however, by a collection of tracks that somehow stop short of being memorable.
Indeed, the songs here are pretty decent ear candy, but none of them contains that “knock off your socks” factor that get me to sit up and pay attention. There is always something that drags down the song. The title track, however, has a great stormy verse, but the chorus is weak. Change Your Life has some great Papa Don’t Preach-style violins storming in the background and a catchy rousing chorus, but the verses are forgettable.
We Are Who We Are is almost a home-run from the start, with its message about loving oneself and not caring what others may think, but after a while, the whole thing starts to feel repetitive. The ballad Turn Your Face is pleasant enough, but it feels like way too many big ballad out there.
But when these ladies are on the right track, they can set the mood for some serious beat down on the dance floor. Madhouse is fabulous – it’s like ABBA high and dancing like idiots to a De La Soul beat. Going Nowhere is admitted a rather clichéd “Get my useless boyfriend out of my face!” song, but it has enough sass and attitude to make me miss En Vogue.
At the end of the day, DNA is a rather average debut effort. Still, there are some hints of potential, so who knows, maybe one day, perhaps with better materials, they would give it good to everyone. It would be interesting to see whether they would be given the chance to try or get dropped by Syco first.