After being named one of 2016’s most anticipated albums, 7/27 shows off Fifth Harmony’s powerful girl power presence. A record that features the beauty of empowerment, the power of self-acceptance, and the sometimes disparaging moments of love.
Leading the album is jazz-stomper ‘That’s My Girl’, produced by Aaron Pearce who has also worked with Celine Dion, Ricky Martin, Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder, etc. While it gives off reminiscent vibes of some of their past work in debut album Reflection, it’s ‘Crazy In Love’ attitude separates it entirely from the pack. ‘Work From Home’, which has now gone platinum in numerous countries worldwide, delves into the girls’ comfortable genre of R&B and Hip-Hop. It’s safe, but it works because of its well-rounded production and instantly memorable lyrics. This also applies for EDM-influenced ‘The Life’.
‘Write On Me’ is one of the albums greatest highlights due to its well-endowed lyricism. It’s passionate, honest and somehow we’re able to get enwrapped in Fifth Harmony’s perspective of how one person’s influence can hugely impact someone by whatever degree. ‘I Lied’, led off by Lauren Jauregui features sexy, silky vocals with a tad-bit minimal production. It’s not until the chorus that the song explodes into EDM-inspired mania.
‘All In My Head (Flex)’ shows off member Dinah-Jane and is also another album highlight. With a reggae-sound, the girl group experiment with a genre that’s so far been readily accepted by the mainstream worldwide. It’s quiet similarity to Romanian artist Alexandra Stan’s ‘Lemonade‘ should also be proudly noted because of the songs’ lavish production.
‘Squeeze’s’ ambient vibe shows off a softer side of the album and the chorus shows off the groups’ more refined harmonies. ‘Gonna Get Better’ details the path of love and continuing a positive attitude towards a seemingly unhappy relationship. ‘Scared Of Happy’ can be interpreted in many ways but can be seen as an empowering anthem especially with lyrics:
There is something good in sticking to your guns
No one to blame but yourself
I take a step back and I breathe for once
This is what I want
‘Not That Kinda Girl’ leads you into a MJ & Bruno Mars world. The funk influenced collaboration with rapper legend Missy Elliott is destined to become a future single (and if not, should definitely be considered) due to its pure pop appeal. A perfect and powerful way to end Fifth Harmony’s sophomore effort. Its lyrics give us ‘Say You’ll Be There’ (Spice Girls) feels with a celebratory girl power statement. Sorry fellas!
I don’t even know you
I don’t know you like that at all
I don’t even know you, no
If you keep on staring
I’mma show you what it’s like to fall
I think we got a problem
‘Dope’ & ‘No Way’ (featured on the Deluxe edition of 7/27) detail into the world of love once more, and while it gains a bit repetitive, the girls’ slick vocals and harmonious improvements make the two songs wonderfully worthwhile.
7/27 is a pop album filled with proper consistency and is a major improvement to the girl groups’ debut album Reflection. Besides showcasing maturity in lyrics, it also features maturity in Fifth Harmony’s vocals both individually and as a group. The album is filled with many beautiful vocal moments. Girl power has never been so alive than it is this decade and 7/27 proves that rather efficiently.