It’s time for a retraction. When Fifth Harmony released their first single from their forthcoming sophomore album I said it was mediocre and lacked depth. It’s true, at a first couple of listens of “Work From Home” I wasn’t impressed the slightest but then I couldn’t escape the catchy hook every where I went. so yes, now i love it and I take back my words except for the “unnecessary guest rapper flavourless verse” cause that’s still terrible.
Anyways, the 5H girls have finally released their highly anticipated record “7/27” and its compiled of bops, bangers and emotionally charged ballads. This record has been impressively put together with strong production, experimentation and vulnerability that still manages to hold onto their r&b roots. Album opener “That’s My Girl” kicks it all off with a bang giving us a similar brassy production structure to “Worth It” which could’ve been a huge mistake but lucky for them its just as big when the hook explodes. “Got some dirt on your shoulder then let me brush it off for ya, if you’re feeling me put your five high, that’s my girl”. When I heard this song my jaw dropped with the smooth beat changes and the euphoric empowerment vibes it exudes. The electronic experimentation kicks into full gear with “I Lied” and “The Life” which follow the current EDM trend of mid tempo production that rely on thick beats in the chorus. And these songs deliver just that. “Squeeze”, “Gonna Get Better” and “Dope” are the emotional mid tempo ballads that your love life (or lack of it) never knew it needed. “Write On Me” is a cheesy ballad that is cute but alongside these stronger and more mature tracks it’s forgettable and would’ve found it’s place more on their debut record. “Scared Of Happy” impresses with tempo changes, powerful lyrics and will quickly become one of your favourite Fifth Harmony if you’re a cynical romantic like me. “I’m afraid of nothing, I’m afraid of no one. Used to be fearless, why am I scared of happy?”. Why they have irrelevant rappers feature on their songs will always confuse me and Fetty Wap’s verse on the absolute bop “All In My Head (Flex)” is one that I wish didn’t exist. The song is so sexy, fresh and fun but then he comes in and makes you cringe and feel uncomfortable… tell him boy bye. However they got one feature right and that was Missy Elliott” who brought her own stamp of sassiness to “Not That Kinda Girl” which grows on you with each listen.
“7/27” is a strong collection of tracks that sees the girls confident with their sound, vocals and sexuality. Their debut was a messy affair clouded with immaturity but now all the girls are on the same page and they’re going to be unstoppable.