One of the biggest music groups of all time got their start on the British version of a music competition show called X-Factor. Since finishing in third place, One Direction has stolen the hearts and wallets of millions of teenage girls worldwide. Over the years One Direction has generated hit singles, chart topping albums, sold out tours, movies and tons of awards. Simon Cowell, the creator behind X-Factor and One Direction, decided to try his successful formula with a girl group.
Two years later on the American version of X-Factor, five girls (Ally Brooke, Camila Cabello, Normani Hamilton, Dinah Jane, Lauren Jauregui) came in as solo acts and ended up becoming a group. The girl-group Fifth Harmony was formed and also made it to third place. Even though they didn’t win the $5,000,000 grand prize, the girls captivated enough ears to gain a record deal through Cowell’s label Syco Music. After releasing an EP (Better Together) full of family friendly pop tunes and touring with some pretty big names (Demi Lovato, Austin Mahone, Cher Lloyd), Fifth Harmony is all grown up and ready to be embraced by a mature audience.
Their next single “Boss” was a transition to a more mature sound. The girls killed the Wallpaper-produced independent anthem during numerous live performances but it couldn’t find much success on the charts. Fifth Harmony is looking to conquer with their second single “Sledgehammer” off of their debut album Reflection set to come out January 27, 2015. “Sledgehammer” was co-written by the woman who made the body-empowering single, “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor, and she helped craft a solid pop single. Camila Cabello takes command of the first verse with each girl finding a way to showcase their impressive vocals throughout the track.
The 80s trend is still going strong as the pop-tinged synths dominate the production in this track. Fifth Harmony proved they mastered harmonizing since their X-Factor days with a chorus that has the potential to be stuck in your head for a while after a couple plays. I always had a spot in my heart for girl groups and I’m hoping that Fifth Harmony can find their place in the pop world. While most groups end up failing because only one member gets the spotlight (We can’t all be Beyoncé), Fifth Harmony have shown a lot of variety in their tracks because they give everyone a turn on the mic. Equal singing arrangements also lets the girls do what their best at and show that every member in a group can actually sing. If Dinah Jane can belt some powerful vocals and Lauren Jauregui can add some maturity with her smoky voice, why let one person do all the work?
Even though Fifth Harmony has a dedicated fan base that is doing everything possible to get these girls some attention, Fifth Harmony needs a single that can appeal to the masses and “Sledgehammer” is their strongest offering so far. The track has all of the elements of a hit but there are tons of songs fighting for a chance to be heard, artists always need something more to get them noticed. I’m hoping “Sledgehammer” is the beginning of some well-deserved recognition for these talented ladies.