LM5: Celebrating Women

Myriam Tshowa

The fifth studio album from british girl band Little Mix, released on November 16, 2018. LM5 comes 2 years after Glory Days, the previous album released in 2016. Their growth can vividly be seen in this album. With pop, r&b/soul, and tropical influences, the album has something for everybody.

The album comes fresh off of Little Mix Glory Days tour, which ended in 2017. With a year of preparation, the Biritish girl group produced an 18 track album, showcasing the beautiful progression of finding a sense of womanhood, through self love, friendships, and relationships.

The primary focus on this album was the empowerment of women. With soaring colors Little Mix produced a very female centre themed album. With an authentic voice and real lycris, the power of the message is not at all lost in the production. Their first single off of LM5, “Woman like me” sets the tone of the LM5 era. With lyrics like “I always say what I’m feeling, I was born without a zip on my mouth” and “My momma always said, “Girl, you’re trouble” and “… now I wonder, could you fall for a woman like me” ; this single celebrates  incredible women in every shape and form. It combats the stereotypical roles and expectations that society places on women on keeping a pristine, cookie cutter image. Their second single, “Joan of Arc”, pays homage to Joan of Arc, one of the most notable historical female figures. A national heroine of France, Joan of Arc led the French army to victory over the English at Orléans at just 18 years old. The song also references Cleopatra and the Queen of hearts. The chorus feautures a line where there is a male voice who says: “Oh, you on that feminist tip?”. To which a female voice responds with: “Hell yeah, I am!”  This line is used with a male voice, referring to a mockery on the part of the male gender towards feminists, and the female voice as a way of saying that they hold no shame in being a feminist and celebrating and fighting for women. Another prominent song is “Strip”. The fourth song on the album that discusses self love and self acceptance, with lyrics discussing body positivity and embracing parts of yourself that you can’t change. This can be seen in the line: “take off all my make-up ’cause I love what’s under it rub off all your words, don’t give a uh, I’m over it” and “Finally love me naked, sexiest when I’m confident”.

What was the most beautiful part of the album was the way they were able to incorporate female empowerment with friendship. The idea that before any man, comes your girls. Female empowerment is not a solo project–it’s having a group of girls behind you, ready to pick you back up when you fall. With songs like “Love a girl right” and “More than words”, the message was able to be clearly communicated. Though, the standout of this theme was definitely  “Told you so”, a song about comforting a friend through a break up. Even though relationships may come and go, a good friendship is forever. With lyrics like :“ I’ve got wine and makeup wipes, I’ll hold you…” and a simple stripped down production, the song seems to truly embody the power and importance of friendship.

Aside from being a very female empowerment centered, LM5 has several songs scattered throughout the album about relationships. Songs like “Think about us”, Monster in Me”, “American Boy, “Motivate”, “Notice”, and “Forget You Not”. Completely separate from female empowerment, Little Mix discuss the downsides of relationships. From the awkward stage before the break up, to break up, and finally ending on reflecting after the breakup. Although the lyrics seem to be beautifully haunting and solemn, the upbeat production and vocal delivery from Little Mix gives these songs a lively and fun vibe enough to get up and dance to.

With LM5, Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Ann Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall, have found a way to incorporate the serious conversation of female empowerment and feminism with a sassy and electrifying beat enough to make want to get up and dance!