music

The album that shook the world.

Hello, readers!

So, Fifth Harmony just released their new album…and SHE’S A BOP!  You heard me right, 5H’s 3rd studio album came out on August 25th and took us all by surprise. The self-titled album was very anticipated by fans and music insiders alike, as it was the first album from the Urban-pop girl group as a foursome. As we all know, last December, Camila Cabello took her leave from the group to pursue a solo music career. After that, the only question that everyone had was: Is this the end of Fifth Harmony? Well, the girls gave us their answer and appeared on the Billboard: People’s Choice Awards, where they premiered their new version of the hit single, “Work From Home”. The performance was hailed as “courageous” and “fresh”. It was definitely different, but Ally, Dinah Jane, Normani, and Lauren got up on stage and served. Even winning the award for Favorite Group. That night they made a statement, that Fifth Harmony was here to stay! The girls then went on to finish their 7/27 tour, which had its hiccups. The girls were not as confident and they really were questioning themselves as performers. Near the end of the last leg of the 7/27 tour, the girls announce that they were indeed working on new music, even while rumors swirled that the girls were on the brink of breaking up.

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Fifth Harmony performing ‘Miss Movin’ On’ Neon Lights tour 2014

 

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5H after the exit of Camila Cabello.

 

The 7/27 tour finished at the beginning of the summer of 2017 and not long after, on June 2, 2017, the group debuted their new single “Down” ft. Gucci Mane live on Good Morning  America.

  • Personal opinion: Upon first hearing “Down” I thought it was very okay. It definitely had “Work From Home” vibes; with a more urban feel to it. But, the more I listened to it, the more of the vibe I got from it.

“Down” soon became a fan favorite and the foursome added it to their 7/27 setlist for all their summer concerts. It peaked at about #42 on the Billboard Hot 100, which wasn’t great, but not terrible. The girls continued this new PR campaign, promoting themselves as grown women who are artists. Saying that they were now “stronger and more creative than ever. They did their best to put on the idea that the four of them were Fifth Harmony and that no little roadblock would stop them. Though this was hard for some interviewers and music journalists to swallow. Like with any high-profile band drama involving a member leaving, there were plenty of attempts to sidetrack the conversations about the music and the group and talk about the fallen member. Both parties, Camila and 5H, did their best to stay diplomatic, even when their drama was out in the world to see.  However, the girls always found their way back to the music and really hit on the idea that they got to be involved creatively this time around and had a say in what they were doing. They were finally taking control of their brand and their music.

 

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The “new” Fifth Harmony Premiering “Down” on GMA.

 

Speaking of the brand, once Camila left, the group definitely took a turn. Instead of just flirty girl power, the group began to exude a very mature, sultry image, that seems to have carried through to their music.  With most young performers this can feel rough or forced, but for 5H, it seemed to be the right step. This was proved with their second single entitled “Angel”. Which saw the girls channel a darker side. The song itself pretty much saying “We’re not the little girls you thought we were, there’s much more to us than meets the eye.” And boy did the music video and song say that. The vibe of the song is very trappy, think Cardi meets Nicki meets Beyonce meets TLC. It was the hardest track the girls have ever released as a single. The lyrics themselves evoking a much more mature group and shifting dynamic.

Should’ve never crossed that line with ya
Everything was cool, just drinkin’ with ya
Way too young to be up in handcuffs
Wasn’t tryna spend my life on the phone with ya
Gotta keep it on one hundred with ya
The original me wouldn’t fuck with ya
And I was beginning to fuck with ya

As you can see the girls were not playing around. They were going to prove to us that they weren’t the young girls singing songs like “Better Together” and “Miss Movin On”. They were serious young women, who aren’t afraid to be blunt and up front. Ally even accessed her hood side, donning 30 ft of dark weave in the video ( obvious exaggeration). This song was released on August 10, 2017. Just 2 weeks before the release of their album.

In the coming weeks, we then got the album art, which I think, is a really cool cover for the album. The girls also release the title, Fifth Harmony. Yes, they were going with a self-titled album. Why? The girls felt they were finally the Fifth Harmony they wanted to be and they wanted this to be the rebirth of them as a group. Which, makes sense to me, don’t ya think? Also, with the title came the tracklist. Which a lot of people were shocked about.

Firstly, there were only 10 songs on the album. This is their shortest album to date, but the girls felt they wanted a very focused, streamlined album. And there was only ONE feature. Just the one. Again, a decision the girls made, saying they didn’t need anyone else. And I agree, every song on the album speaks for itself.

Of the 10 records on the album, there is only one that I’m not crazy about. Since I’ve already discussed Down and Angel. I’ll start with track 2 and 3rd single “He Like That”

So, this song also got a music video with the album release. And it was fire!!! Seriously, go watch it. I’m not gonna address the slut-shaming by some fans because that’s dumb…its 2017 and they’re grown women. This song has a very reggae-inspired beat, but the electric guitars give it a lot of energy. The girls’ vocals are rather creative and the overall feeling of the song is sexy, fierce, and confident. Dinah and Lauren get to really show off on this song. With, Normani, of course, sneaking a crisp run in there. Plus, the choreo in the music video, is some of the best they have ever delivered.

Then we move on to the song “Sauced Up”. Which seems to be a party anthem. But, also talks about the perils of the millennial generation…getting drunk and hooking up with someone at a party. But, the song definitely has a club feel to it, with a pretty hard beat. The track almost feels like hip-hop. Normani also gets to really SANG on this track. Her vocals have improved so much lately. All of them have really.

The next song, “Make You Mad”, isn’t my favorite, if I am to be honest. It just doesn’t move me. It sounds a little too much like the 7/27 era, which was good, but it doesn’t really feel cohesive with the rest of it. It is a fine song, they just don’t really do anything vocally or musically interesting. It gives me a Ciara vibe though, so I’ll listen to it in a full listen through, but not one I’d just choose to listen to.

Then, there was “Deliver”. This is absolutely my favorite song on the album. It vibes like hell and their vocals are impeccable. Not only are the vocals nice, but they do some really interesting stuff on it. Ally in general on this song slays down. She really gets a chance to shine on this one. It has this truly R&B vibe to it, almost feeling like a Destiny’s Child track. I’d like to see more of this from them definitely. Also, Normani slays the bridge DOWN. This song has the most clever and thoughtful lyrics as well. There a lot of really cute delivery metaphors. This song is a BOP! 

“Lonely Night” is an interesting song. It has this kind of hood, TLC vibe, but the breakdown is very pop-y. It has a very mature vibe to it. It is chill, but still really bops. Again, the girls get to really go for it with the vocals here. All 4 of them get to really go off in this one a little bit. Again, a direction I look forward to seeing them go in.

So, this song is another song that sounds like something from 7/27, however, it is more mature. My issue with MYM is that it just kind of sounds and feels the same way, but this song is definitely heightened from the songs similar on 7/27. Even the way they talk about the subject matter is more in depth. The lyrics of this song are really nice, and really hit the point of the song really well, without being too on the nose. Definitely a nice ballad for them.

We already talked about this, but I’d like to deem “Angel” a BOP! 

Moving on to the penultimate track, “Messy”. Again, that odd R&B/urban pop thing they’re able to do really well. This is another ballad, but it’s very different. Again, a very mature exploration with the content. It is a song about being honest about yourself and the fact that we are all human and, well, messy. There is also a really dope ass vocal breakdown in place of a bridge. It is one of the MOST impressive vocal moments on this album. the way the girls’ riffs and runs all fit and meld together was really well done(yes, they do it live too). And Normani’s. Fucking. Whistle.

The final “Bridges” is just a nice big, beautiful F-U to 45 and his horrid administration. Lauren is always speaking out against the Trump administration and I think this song was written as a statement against all the hate and divisiveness that has come from DJT. And the lyric “Bridges not walls” is enough evidence of that. Plus, I think all of the girls have some sort of Latinx descent in their families. So, all of this hits really close to them. This is just a nice standard pop anthem, a nice way to close the album out, and with the some really nice vocal moments and harmonies.

Well, there you have it! In my opinion, Fifth Harmony is a strong pop album. It is the kind of album that I think a girl group like 5H should be releasing. It really is a landmark for them, and I look forward to seeing how much more they give us. If they’re most recent live performances are any indication, they just keep getting better and better. I think we’re seeing the real rise of the next big girl group here. I wasn’t a true Harmonizer, then I heard this album and I was won over. 9/10 for sure!

Thanks for reading!

Live to laugh another day! Thank you for visiting…

JAYLAND 

 

 

 

Music Monday: #5H3 Is Down the pop anthem of the summer?

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Heyy everyone! Hope everyone is doing well! I am back with a song that I just HAD to talk about! So, Fifth Harmony just released a new song last week, and IT IS FIRE!!!! Well, at least I think so. Now, I have a bit of a checkered past with Fifth Harmony. I first discovered who they really are when I saw them live and in person at Demi Lovato’s Neon Lights Tour. At that point, I thought they were…good. They had some really fun music, good voices, and some nice moves. They really put on a good show. However, that night I also saw Little Mix for the first time, and they’d been out longer and were just more polished and put together as a group.

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Fifth Harmony performing ‘Miss Movin’ On’ Neon Lights tour 2014

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Little Mix performing ‘Salute’ Neon Lights tour 2014

So, I didn’t take them super seriously. I thought they were really cute and might have a few hits, but otherwise, they probably won’t be the Pussycat Dolls or anything. Then, their album Reflections hit the scene and there were a few really good songs on that Album. And Camila was really starting to be showcased more and I thought that was great because her voice was really interesting. Their music had matured a lot and they seemed to be heading in a good direction. However, they had some rough live performances and my faith dropped.

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Fifth Harmony’s debut album Reflections.

Then came 7/27…and everything changed. The single “Work From Home” came out and was an immediate infectious urban pop anthem. And don’t even get me started with the music video. For the first time, I was HIGHLY impressed with a 5H song.

https://giphy.com/embed/eXaiUN0vrHGi4via GIPHY

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Fifth Harmony’s sophomore album 7/27

And every single after that was fire! All in my Head (Flex) is probably my favorite. That one is a serious banger.

Now, to the new song ‘Down’. The first thing that I noticed right off the bat was how it had a very similar vibe to ‘Work From Home’, but the 2 songs are very different from each other. ‘Down’, to me, is a much more mature track, but still, retains the fun and vibe of WFH. They again go with a very simplistic, repetitive refrain that is catchy and easy to sing. They were smart, as they were with WFH, by using that same tactic. There’s more of an R&B vibe to this new jam, and it makes me wanna shake my ass forever.

I think one of the things that ‘Down’ has over WFH is the lyrics. WFH was a very simplistic song with simplistic lyrics and melody. I think the writing of ‘Down’ is more sophisticated, and I can’t wait to hear how this affects the rest of the album. The production of the song is also very crisp and sharp. It hits everything you need in a pop banger; the way the vocals and instrumentation are mixed, where the beat hits in the song and where the girls’ ad lib are all very pristine. With ‘Down’ they’ve really hooked me into this next album already. I am very excited about

With ‘Down’ they’ve really hooked me into this next album already. I am very excited about the future of 5H and this new era they are entering!

Demi Lovato Taking a Break! Unsure of return to music!

In a new tweet, “Confident” pop singer Demi Lovato has shared that she’s looking forward to the year ahead—but not because of a new album or concert tour. Instead, she said she’s expecting to take some time off from her life in the public eye, noting that she doesn’t see herself as “meant” for the…

via Demi Lovato Says She’s Excited to Be ‘Taking a Break from Music and the Spotlight’ — TIME

I don’t know how I feel about this. This woman and her music have been such an integral in my life and shaping me as an artist. To see her say that she may not come back is heartbreaking. Especially now, that she’s truly finding her voice as an artist and as a woman who has been through some rough patches. Whatever is happening Demi, I hope that you find what you’re looking for. If it is not music, that’s cool, but know you will have millions of fans like me who will miss your music and your unique voice very dearly!

Prayers for you!

Lady Gaga Will Headline the 2017 Super Bowl Halftime Show — TIME

Lady Gaga will headline next year’s Super Bowl halftime show, she announced Thursday. The Perfect Illusion singer confirmed speculations of her upcoming performance on Twitter, saying “it’s not an illusion. The rumors are true.” This is Lady Gaga’s second time performing on the Super Bowl stage. Earlier this year, she sang the National Anthem while…

via Lady Gaga Will Headline the 2017 Super Bowl Halftime Show — TIME