Since 2011 Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall have established themselves as one of British pop’s brightest acts. You'll be pleased to hear their new album ‘Glory Days’, led by the glorious and cheeky lead single 'Shout Out To My Ex', is only going to make this fact even more glaringly obvious.
Signature hits including ‘Move’, ‘Wings’ and ‘Black Magic’ - the latter becoming their third UK chart-topper, stubbornly spending three weeks at the top last summer - have helped the Number One-selling girlband score over half a billion YouTube and Vevo views worldwide, alongside massive tours of the UK, Australia, Japan and the US – where their debut album smashed a record the Spice Girls held for almost two decades.
In many ways, however, it was their third album, 2015's 'Get Weird', that was the real turning point. Released in the hugely competitive month of November it crashed into the chart at Number 2, spent the rest of that year in the Top Ten and by August 2016 had become the biggest-selling album of their careers. Even now it's currently nestled happily in the Top Ten selling albums of 2016, outselling the likes of One Direction, Sia and Rihanna. Rather than seeing their careers plateau or start to diminish with each album, Little Mix are revelling in bucking the trends of the more typical pop acts.
Bolstered by the retro loveliness of 'Love Me Like You', the heart-rending ballad 'Secret Love Song' and a re-worked version of anti-dickhead anthem 'Hair' featuring actual legend Sean Paul, it's an album that cemented the band's confidence in their own sound. Its ridiculous success also meant they could head out on yet another arena tour, this time playing an incredible 60 shows across Europe (including another two sold out dates at London's O2 arena), Australia and Asia, and selling over 500k tickets.
But what of the present? How does the world's biggest girl group maintain that status? If their new album is anything to go by it's by pouring their emotions into gargantuan pop songs that sparkle and snap in all the right places. Effervescent lead single 'Shoutout To My Ex' is a knowing, yet perfectly pitched, kiss-off that turns their experience of heartbreak into pure pop gold with a chorus that could crush buildings. 'FU' and 'Nobody Like You', meanwhile, continue their trend for vocally magnificent ballads, with the latter plucking on the heartstrings like a harp. Then there's 'Touch', a throbbing, thoroughly modern-sounding dance goliath that quite literally pulsates.
Pop acts like Little Mix don't come along that often. Growing better and bolder with each new album, they understand the brilliance of pop music and how it relates to their passionate and loyal fanbase. Not interested in just chucking music out for the sake of it, their songs are personality-packed, carefree when they need to be and emotive at just the right moments. Hold on tight, things are about to go properly interstellar.