Album Review: Fifth Harmony’s Reflection

Fifth Harmony’s first full-length album, Reflection, is out now (Feb. 3) and it’s got a helluva lot of girl power.

fifth harmony reflection album review drunk on pop

The new Fifth Harmony album (out today – Feb 3, 2014) has been long-awaited. The date of release has been pushed back multiple times, and fans have been getting quite anxious. I took a listen to Reflection during the exclusive first listen on iTunes Radio. Compared to their EP (Better Together), this is a much different sound. It’s like they stepped into some makeover booth as bubblegum pop princesses and came out as powerful R&B mini-divas. It’s definitely a more mature sound, and for a lot of reasons it was a great move.
So, for the pros and cons. Because I always like to end on a good note…
THE CONS:
  • Name Dropping – Kanye, Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child, Ray J, Michelle Obama (x493), Oprah (x102), etc. We get it. You want to be relatable. I’m even going to include the many (many) mentions of Instagram and selfies as a name drop of some sorts. One song starts like a Mariah Carey song, another starts like Bootylicious. The girls are talented enough that they can stand on their own merits, but I’ll let it slide since it’s a debut album. No more of that on the next one or it’s going to be a serious turn off. It was cutesy in ‘Me & My Girls’, but not if you’re making a serious effort to be taken more seriously.
  • Unoriginal? Perhaps. Some of the songs sounded too much like other songs. It came off more like …. god, I don’t want to say copying because that’s the wrong word but my point is there is a difference between being influenced by other music and basically making yourself sound like their music. Body Rock particularly reminded me of a song by The Saturdays. Which, to be honest, is a bit disappointing because I feel like The Sats are really underrated in the United States.
  • Them Girls Be Like. Seriously… this entire song makes me want to punch things and roll my eyes. I just think it’s absolutely horrendous in so many ways.
THE PROS:
  • Feels like I’m back in the 90s/early 2000s. Some of the songs are very reminiscent of Destiny’s Child and TLC. Everlasting Love especially got me jamming in the car. Music was better decades ago, but the last really great decade of music happened about 10 years ago and I’ve missed it.
  • Girl power. Period. Songs like Reflection, BO$$Worth It and the title track Reflection are so empowering for girls and SO CATCHY. It’s so important that girls have great music to listen to that makes them feel good. That shows them that it’s okay to love yourself how you are, and to not have to rely on men. Definitely some great feminist anthems on this album, which is A+.
  • Featured artists. I really enjoyed Tyga’s verse on Like MariahKid Ink was featured on Worth It, which was also good. I’m not a huge Meghan Trainor fan, but I thought it was really great to hear her feature on Brave, Honest, Beautiful. It’s a good song, and she adds a cool element to it.

fifth harmony reflection album cover

NEUTRAL:
Honestly, it feels like a CRAZY change from the EP to the album. On one hand, I’m super about it because this must be the album the girls wanted to put out and blah blah blah but usually the EP is a preview of what kind of album is coming out and I worry that with such a drastic change that it’s going to be hard for people to get on board with. It’s a good album… maybe great. There are definitely a few songs toward the end of the album that I could do without all together. They’re unmemorable and not all that original. As I was writing this I went back to the track list and couldn’t even remember what some of the songs sounded like. I really loved their EP, and thought it was such a great sound for them. This is good for them too, but it doesn’t work as well I don’t think.
Stand out tracks:
  • Like Mariah (easily my fave on the whole album, and embedded below)
  • Worth It
  • Reflection
  • Top Down


Fifth Harmony’s new album, Reflection, for yourself by purchasing it on iTunes

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