By Giulio Riso
Published: September 14th, 2017
So far, 2017 has been a great year for pop music. We’ve had comebacks from major artists like P!nk, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Fergie and Taylor Swift, who broke the Internet. However, we have also been lucky enough to come across some fresh faces like Dua Lipa, Zara Larsson and Bebe Rexha.
One major comeback that really had people talking, though, was the girl-group that’s loved and adored by fans (Harmonizers) all over the world: Fifth Harmony.
Over the years, the girls have been building their legacy and working non-stop, releasing banger after banger. In 2016, they were on fire after releasing “Work from Home,” one of the years’ biggest hits, followed by their chart topping album “7/27.” It seemed as if Fifth Harmony was an unstoppable force. And then in December of 2016, Fifth Harmony became a quartet.
Fifth member Camila Cabello left the quintet to pursue her solo career, which left the fate of the blossoming Fifth Harmony a mystery for some time. Thankfully, the four remaining girls, Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke Hernandez, Dinah Jane Hansen and Normani Kordei, continued to be a strong group and have now blessed us with one of the best pop albums of 2017, their self-titled album, “Fifth Harmony.”
Preceded by lead single “Down” (feat. Gucci Mane), a tropical-dance gem, and the Skrillex- produced “Angel,” the group’s third album has been one of the most anticipated albums of the year. With all eyes on them, the ladies of Fifth Harmony did not disappoint. The album is a collection of ten carefully crafted pop songs. The girls were more involved in the creative process, having co-written almost all the songs on the album, and it shows in the music. Prior to these songs, the only other song the girls had any input in creating was 2016’s summer hit “All in My Head (Flex).”
The vocals and harmonies on the album are definitely a step up from their previous work. 2015’s “Reflection” was (at the time) their most diverse album, both sonically and vocally. 2016’s “7/27” was mostly Cabello leading all the songs and the other four girls throwing in some ad-libs and runs here and there. However, on “Fifth Harmony,” all four girls can finally shine. Songs like “Messy” and “Deliver” show off their powerful voices, and the runs at the end of the song are chill-inducing, with lyrics like, “Don’t promise me tonight without tomorrow, too,” and the emotion in “Don’t Say You Love Me” will manage to touch even the coldest hearts.
“Fifth Harmony” is a fun album, and it is a pleasure to hear them experiment with new sounds, blending classic R&B with modern-day pop music. The girls’ second single, “He Like That,” samples the 1994 Hammer classic “Pumps and a Bump,” and is an instant hit. Thankfully, the girls avoided petty drama, took the high road, and left any trace of resentment towards Cabello for future performances (see their 2017 VMA Performance, which aired a couple of weeks ago).
Yet, we can’t forget about the girls’ beauty and growth, which “Fifth Harmony” highlights. The album closes with the song “Bridges,” a breathtakingly stunning power ballad. Having been very vocal about their politics, one can assume that this song is an anthem for those who have been affected by the negativity and hate that has surfaced in the world over the past year, reminding them to stay strong and to overcome life’s hardships by coming together and building bridges, not walls.
“Fifth Harmony” is a strong comeback/new beginning for the newly empowered quartet. Fifth Harmony should not be underestimated, and with this album, the girls have proven that they have earned their spot amongst the big names in pop.