Little Mix – 'DNA'
By Rachel Aroesti
Having been shunted together strictly for X Factor purposes, Little Mix might be forgiven for having little or no raison d’être. That’s how the four-piece girl group come across lyrically anyway – doggedly defending nothing in particular. Bar multiple references to that infuriating pop convention “mama”, the foursome’s debut album seems mainly engaged in addressing the naysayers (errant boyfriends/internet trolls) with a nod to the Cher Lloyd school of desperation-soaked pep talks. Raising the self-esteem of young girls is after all the single prerequisite of all X Factor output (see JLS and One Direction for details).
That said, there are some pleasingly retro R&B girl-power ballads sandwiched between the numerous dancefloor-friendly hits, including the chart-topping opener ‘Wings’, while it’s hard to believe that tracks like ‘How You Doin’?’ aren’t forgotten ‘90s girl group classics. It’s not quite All Saints 2.0, and the girls' unflattering striped trousers and burgundy hair are a significant barrier to any sort of cool, but what Little Mix lack in originality they make up for in taste: ‘DNA’ is high-quality old hat.