They’re the only real success story from FOX’s attempt at Simon Cowell‘s UK hit series X Factor. Fifth Harmony who placed third during the reality competition have been burning up the charts this winter with their latest single — the 80’s inspired “Sledgehammer.” It wasn’t an easy start for the manufactured girl group though.
Ally, Normani, Lauren, Dinah-Jane and Camila, put together to form a female counterpart to Cowell’s One Direction, released an EP, Better Together, in the fall of 2013 that failed to gain much attention at mainstream radio and the group seemed unable to capitalize on their X Factor exposure. Late last year, the girls reemerged with a fresh new look and the infectious single “Sledgehammer.”
Today, the girls drop their official full-length debut Reflection featuring the hit single among a pack of sultry beats and melodic hooks. The album, although predictable and technically missing the mark on defining a specific sound for the girls, ironically has everything you’d come to expect from a group who made their mark singing other people’s songs. But with appearances from Tyga, Kid Ink and “Sledgehammer” co-writer Meghan Trainor, the album has potential. The title track along with the Trainor penned cuts are clear front runners while the rest sort of blend together like a collection of B-Sides tossed to the side in Beyonce or Ariana Grande sessions.
Despite some of its downfalls though, the album will do well and should give the girls a chance for to reinvent yet again for a sophomore effort. I wonder though, are we settling or is Reflection the record we’ve been craving? Perhaps the music industry is just ready for its next great girl group and Fifth Harmony fills the void. For now at least.