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Fifth Harmony switches genres while maintaining mediocrity

Girl group’s self-titled album dull, uninteresting

Used+with+permission+from+from+Epic+Records
Used with permission from from Epic Records

Used with permission from from Epic Records

Used with permission from from Epic Records

Following the departure of their stand-out member, Camila Cabello, Fifth Harmony’s self-titled third studio album further justifies the group’s mediocre reputation.

“7/27,” Fifth Harmony’s second album, achieved moderate success. Its multi-platinum lead single, “Work From Home,” rocked radios across the world, but the group’s following singles didn’t come close to achieving similar success. Overall, “7/27” was a lame, manufactured pop album.

While promoting their third album, the four remaining members of Fifth Harmony emphasized their newfound role in songwriting and creative control, which typically yields a more personal album. However, “Fifth Harmony” is just as manufactured and impersonal as the group’s previous work, and while it is their most sonically cohesive project, the album is consistently boring.

For their third studio album, the group shifted away from pop and worked entirely with hip-hop and R&B producers, who crafted “Fifth Harmony” with a familiar and radio-friendly sound fitting for 2017. However, its good production coating its mediocre songwriting isn’t enough to redeem the album from its weaknesses, which include passable vocals, cringe-worthy lyrics, and the absence of catchy songs.

The album’s best song is “Don’t Say You Love Me,” centered around a chilled-out guitar beat. Other semi-decent tracks include electro-tinged “Make You Mad,” R&B-influenced “Lonely Night” and sass-anthem “Angel.”

Down,” the album’s weak lead single, is a watered-down version of the group’s last major hit, “Work from Home,” and is worsened by its limp Gucci Mane feature. The album’s second single, “He Like That,” is a fine song, but sounds more like an album track than a single.

Although girl/boy groups lack the popularity of previous years, Fifth Harmony has everything they need to be successful. Originating from a singing-competition television show, the group is comprised of four undeniably talented young girls, and coupled with well-respected songwriters and producers, Fifth Harmony should be great. Unfortunately, if the quartet has an album in them that can reverse their downward spiral, this isn’t it.

If you didn’t like Fifth Harmony before, I can’t imagine their new album will change your mind. On an album meant to showcase Fifth Harmony’s personal side and their new “Fifth Harmony sound,” the group is as manufactured and uninteresting as ever – maybe Cabello had the right idea.

For those still interested in listening, “Fifth Harmony” is currently available on all media platforms for purchase and streaming, including iTunesSpotify, and Tidal.

“Fifth Harmony”: 2/5

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Fifth Harmony switches genres while maintaining mediocrity