KER-CHING! Well-timed cash-in time! X Factor final approaching! Christmas shopping!
Parents of England – suspend your cynicism and head to Andy’s Records, or wherever it is that the kids get their music from these days. For every One Direction, JLS or Olly Murs there’s a (vomit) Leon Jackson, Joe McElderry or Rhydian.
The majority of those who flirt with fame on Cowell’s cash cow are destined to a ‘career’ of daytime TV and filling petrol station bargain bins – either with their latest flop of a covers album or literally by hand, working on the night shift. I’m pretty sure I bought some de-icer and a Ginsters from Steve Brookstein last week. But what of the debut from Tulisa’s ‘little muffins’?
Mercifully, their beiger-than-beige cover of Damien Rice’s ‘Cannonball’ is omitted, but ‘Change Your Life’, ‘Turn Your Face’ and ‘Always Be Together’ more than compensate with plenty of that numbing schmaltzy montage malarkey that the X Factor does so well.
With smatterings of 90’s R n’ B and a touch of Gwen Stefani, ‘Wings’ is one of those unrelentingly infectious pop beasts and, say what you will, but the skittering beats and little quirks of latest single ‘DNA’ make it instantly memorable.
The predictable military beat of ‘Stereo Soldier’ builds into a sure-fire feel-good stadium-pleaser and the ska charm of ‘We Are Who We Are’ is sure to brighten up the Radio One summertime playlist.
On the surface, this album is more of that factory-line, interchangeable glossily- produced pop that’s turned the top 40 into a landfill. However, Little Mix have managed to stamp a little bit of their own character all over this – suggesting that they may enjoy a little longevity. ‘Red Planet’ is a hilarious mash-up of Aerosmith- style noodling, vocal hooks and crunchy beats, but then reality kicks back in with some beat-boxing and mockney rapping on ‘Going Nowhere’ – what idiots refer to as ‘urban edge’ or something.
So, mums and dads. If you’re after a stocking filler then you can’t go wrong with this. It’s far more wholesome than the boxset of Tulisa’s home movies and is certainly a safe bet. Maybe a little too safe?