A mere ten months after the UK release of their debut studio album 'Reflection', Fifth Harmony return for another chart assault with their second collection '7/27' - so named after the date of their formation. Amidst rumours of splits, members falling out, and even a solo release from the increasingly polarising Camila Cabello, the girls are back with a far more cohesive effort that their debut - but does it live up to the hype?
certainly gets off to a strong start, with the three opening tracks each including catchy hooks and beats that will make you wish the weekend would hurry along even more than usual. Opener 'That's My Girl', lead single 'Work From Home' (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign), and already-released instant grat track 'The Life' come blasting through, marking the return of the most exciting US girlband in a decade.
Although the album goes heavy on the bangers, 7/27
also allows the former X Factor USA
five-piece five piece to show off their vocal abilities on the more laid back tracks 'Write On Me', 'Squeeze', 'Dope', and 'No Way'. Although more chilled, these songs certainly aren't ballads, but provide welcome breathers before the pace of the album picks up again.
One stand out track is the album's Fetty Wap-assisted official second single 'All In My Head (Flex)' which serves as a fitting follow-up to the urban-pop charged 'Work From Home'. This track is a perfect fit for the summer and we predict it'll be featuring on a lot of barbecue playlists over the coming months.
The other collaboration on the album comes from Missy Elliott who returns to working with girl groups after featuring on Little Mix's 'How Ya Doin'?' in 2013. 5H's Missy track 'Not That Kinda Girl' makes a strong impression as soon as it begins, sounding like something that could have walked straight from Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation
'I Lied', 'Gonna Get Better', and 'Scared Of Happy' help to bring the pace of the album back down without being as 'chilled' as the tracks mentioned earlier, ensuring that '7/27' has a perfect balance of tracks. 'I Lied' is an electronic masterpiece that stays true to 2016 pop trends whereas 'Gonna Get Better' and 'Scared Of Happy' are throwbacks to Fifth Harmony's successors, echoing the more mature tracks of the Pussycat Dolls' back catalogue. They're all great tracks, but the album would flow much better if these slower tracks were spaced out more throughout the track listing.
Ultimately, 7/27 feels more cohesive and simply a lot better than 2015's debut 'Reflection'. The young teens that released the teen-pop EP 'Better Together' in 2013 have come a long way since they burst on to the scene and 7/27
just proves that Fifth Harmony have matured more than any other artist in the game right now. On this basis, there's an increasingly bright future in store...
by Fifth Harmony is out tomorrow (May 27).
You can read our full interview with the Fifth Harmony girls in Attitude's June Issue, available to download now from pocketmags.com/attitude, in shops, and to order from newsstand.co.uk.
Words: Samuel McManus
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