Album Review: Fifth Harmony “Reflection”

The Harmonizers are no joke. They will definitely drag you and your opinion through it if they don’t agree with you, whether you are right or not. Luckily I’ve lived through DK-Gate twice, and I’ve been a member of the Britney Army for years, so STANdemonium is not foreign to me. That still doesn’t change the fact that Fifth Harmony’s long awaited debut album, Reflection, is almost unlistenable. Cue the Harmonizer’s Twitter rants:

But they are promoting a message of strong women! I know, and that message is loud, but is not very clear.

How can you have an opinion on music about woman empowerment?! You’re a man! Because, it’s America. And, no one champions for women in music more than the gays. See: Judy Garland, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Cher, Bette Midler, Liza Minelli, Donna Summer, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, TLC, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and believe it or not, Ariana Grande. All of which have been pioneers for woman empowerment. 5H could only be so lucky to be in the company of such iconic women.

Are you a master of music or something? Nobody is checking for your wack-ass opinion! Your blog is a flop! Damn, that escalated quickly.

Anyways. As much as I love the girls of Fifth Harmony, I do not think they were set up for success with such a mediocre debut. The music is dated (it was pushed back so many times, you’d think they’d record new material), reductive, and the lyrics are childish. I love what they stand for but the material doesn’t support the message the way it should. So instead I’ve decided to replace each track with a song that shows how it’s done.

Top Down

  • Sounds Like: Iggy Azalea’s  “Fancy”… Charli XCX could easily be heard singing that hyper sexual, double entendre of a chorus. Are we strong females or are we ratchet? Also, what year is it? Who name drops Fila in a song anymore?
  • Listen To Instead: Danity Kane’s “All In A Days Work.” Yes the defunct girl group couldn’t keep it together but, at least their music speaks on behalf of modern women. You know, the women these young tweens will grow up to be. “All In A Days Work” is a better sound off for complex, multifaceted women who are working towards breaking the glass ceiling “while ironing your clothes.” In high heels and a skirt, I might add. Filas… SMH…

BO$$

  • Sounds Like: 2014… Can they give the horns a break, please?! We’d have one less problem without them.
  • Listen To Instead: As cute and catchy of a song “BO$$” is, I cannot forgive that chorus (Michelle Obama, purse so heavy gettin’ Oprah dollahs). Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Woman Pt. 1” will take the women straight to the bank instead.

Sledgehammer

  • Sounds Like: 80s/90s Throwback Pop
  • Listen To Instead: I actually can’t hate on this song too much. It’s a solid pop song, with a catchy enough chorus that I won’t turn off if it’s on. Although, I am over this “construction site” theme (I.e. see “Wrecking Ball”).

Worth It

  • Sounds Like: Jason DeRulo’s “Talk Dirty”… I mean are they serious?
  • Listen To Instead: Turn on Christina Aguilera’s “Can’t Hold Us Down.” Why? If you’re have a song about your “worth,” this is how you do it. “I might call your bluff,” and “I like it a little ruff” doesn’t command the… we’ll say respect… necessary to truly show one’s “worth.” Take notes from Legentina, girls. She was preaching feminism before Beyoncé made it trendy in 2014.

This Is How We Roll

  • Sounds Like: 2013 EDM… I mean, Will.I.Am’s  “Scream & Shout,” featuring Britney Spears… *shrugs* Same thing.
  • Listen To Instead: Britney Spears’ “How I Roll” is a more sonically unique take on this sentiment. Sometimes girls just gotta go out and have a good time. Doesn’t mean it needs to be a basic good time.

Everlasting Love

  • Sounds Like: Ariana Grande’s “The Way”/”Baby I”/”Right There”/”Lovin’ It”/”Be My Baby”/”You’ll Never Know.” So, basically Mariah Carey from the 90s. Don’t worry, we’re getting there.
  • Listen To Instead: It’s exhausting listening to song after song that sound like every other song from every other artist’s song song song song song song song song. See how repetitive that was? Instead of the same stale 90s throwback airy, R&B-pop, switch up the Ariana with her contribution to the Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack, “All My Love.” It’s the perfect marriage of ethereal EDM meets urban-pop. Smash.

Like Mariah

  • Sounds Like: The above mentioned Ariana Grande Songs with a Mariah Carey “Always Be My Baby” sample. They could not be any more literal with the Mariah Carey reference. It’s no longer an homage when it sounds blatantly like an afterthought.
  • Listen To Instead: Mariah Carey’s original “Always Be My Baby,” duh. Can we PLEASE let Mariah have her heyday? Leave her classics alone. It’s all she has.

Them Girls Be Like

  • Sounds Like: A mess.
  • Listen To Instead: Little Mix’s “Salute.” Here’s why, Harmonizer’s. If you’re going to be a platform for girl power, you can’t have a song dissing other women. Instead, talk about sisterhood and lifting each other up. “Ladies all across the world / Listen up, we’re looking for recruits / If you’re with me, let me see your hands / Stand up and salute / Get your killer heels, sneakers, pumps or lace up your boots / Representing all the women, salute, salute!” I think the chorus proves my point.

Reflection

  • Sounds Like: A watered down version of Beyoncé’s “Diva.” “Diva-lite” if you will.
  • Listen To Instead: Nicki Minaj’s  “Feeling Myself,” featuring feminist of the moment, Beyoncé. Same cockiness with more swagger.

Suga Mama

  • Sounds Like: If Trey Songz’ “LOL Smiley Face” was remixed by Ariana Grande… Are we picking up on the theme here?
  • Listen To Instead: TLC’s “No Scrubs,” because no song has better communicated that a man needs a job to get with a strong woman.

We Know

  • Sounds Like: Standard group a cappella, with instruments. Wait…
  • Listen To Instead: *NSYNC’s “I Thought She Knew.” I know, *NSYNC is a boy band but, in this case I made an exception because no modern group has made a better a cappella song with as much emotion and impact. Praise!

Going Nowhere

  • Sounds Like: I’m over the Ariana Grande leftovers… Sigh.
  • Listen To Instead: Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” for some REAL 90s girl power.

Body Rock

  • Sounds Like: “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” + Beyonce “End Of Time”
  • Listen To Instead: I’ll leave it alone. It is after all a bonus track… And I don’t hate it.

Brave Honest Beautiful

  • Sounds Like: …Meghan Trainor wrote it.
  • Listen To Instead: If you want to feel fierce and empowered like any of the stars they’ve mentioned, just turn on Madonna’s “Vogue.”

The End. 

KenyaDontComeForMe

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