“By design it shouldn’t work,” L.A. Reid’s famous words in reference to Fifth Harmony’s rise to fame. “They found out in front of a live audience they were going to be an actual band, and now they’re challenged to be creative, be competitive and keep a sense of humor? I’m surprised they haven’t cracked up! They should be nuts by now. I would be.”
By design, maybe putting five strangers in front of a live audience to tell them they’re going to band shouldn’t work, but it did. From their start, Fifth Harmony was an experiment, Reflection was a test, and 7/27 is the breakthrough. While, Reflection did spawn hits such as “Worth It” and “Sledgehammer,” their latest album offers much more.
7/27, named after the date the group formed, was released last Friday, a week ahead of its original release date. The album was pushed back to release on May 27th to coincide with the title date, and despite the extra week, 7/27 was worth the wait.
In way of singles, “Work From Home” featuring Ty Dolla $ign proved to be more than successful as a lead, but 7/27 is far from short of radio hits. Of the twelve tracks offered on the Deluxe album, ten can easily make radio success (save “No Way” and “Not That Kinda Girl.”)
The horn and drum driven “That’s My Girl” lets you know the girls mean business from the start. The get up and do it anthem will have you up and dancing with your “five high” just seconds into the album. 7/27 starts out on a high that only gets higher with “Work From Home” and “The Life” at the two and three spots of the track list.
The production of “The Life” showcases the beauty of 7/27 in that it’s completely modern. Even when Fifth Harmony gets soft in songs like “Write On Me” or “Gonna Get Better,” they manage to stay current and sound brand new. Part production, part writing, 7/27 feels up-to-date and might go on to be one of the best pop albums of the year.
Unlike Reflection, this album has a voice and direction to it. As FH member Dinah said in a recent interview, the group finally has a “damn voice” and it shows. As said before, Reflection was the experiment and whatever growing up the girls did as a band between then and now was a Godsend. It finally feels like there is something more to Fifth Harmony, mainly because there is something more.
When I first heard snippets of the album back in February, the song that stuck with me the most was “Dope,” a smooth and charismatic modern love track that belongs on 7/27‘s standard track list in my opinion. From lyrics to style, “Dope” is a go-to song to show someone doubting the critical acclaim of this record.
Overall, the features from the album aren’t much of an added bonus. Fetty Wap and Missy Elliot are big names to help promote the album, but their additions aren’t anything memorable. Missy Elliot drops a rap verse in “Not That Kinda Girl,” and Fetty sings his way through the majority of “All In My Head.” The latter is undoubtedly a highlight of the album, but it doesn’t bank on Fetty Wap for its success.
7/27 follows current trends, but never gives in. The material is easily some of Fifth Harmony’s best to date and a true start to their legacy following the girl-group-greats like The Pussycat Dolls, Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, and TLC. It’s going to be a wild ride, but after listening to this release I think Fifth Harmony will go far.
To purchase 7/27 by Fifth Harmony click here.Published in