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DNA is the debut album from Little Mix, the first group to ever win the X Factor. Surprisingly, this album is actually very good, and became a firm hit, reaching the top 3 albums in the UK.
It's surprising because the group were formed from people who originally auditioned as solo artists, and the strength on the vocals is one of the best attributes to the album.
It's a punchy pop sound throughout, and contains the number 1 single 'Wings' which also went on to do really well in the US charts. It's an uptempo track that will really get you dancing with empowering lyrics. A great launch to the album.
Some of my favourite tracks include the title track 'DNA' an entrancing romantic song, with some really interesting beats behind it, not something you usually hear in pop charts today. Also 'We Are Who We Are' a nice uptempo track with lyrics boasting the greatness of being you, and that you is beautiful.
On a more emotional side, 'Turn Your Face' is an achingly beautiful song, lyrics dealing with the heartache from a relationship ending. The vocals on here though are the most impressive on the whole album in my opinion. Soft and emotional, then climaxing into a powerful end. It really is a tear jerker that made me cry the first time I listened to it.
If you love girl groups, or pop music, I would definitely recommend this album for you, teenagers and adults alike I feel would be able to relate to this album, and really enjoy what it brings.
Little Mix is a female group that consist of a four female singers; Jesy, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne. Little Mix was the first female girl group to win the X Factors competition, and did so during the eighth series back in 2011. Once they won the competition they instantly signed the dotted line on the contract for Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records. Little Mix also signed to a US record company, meaning they could easily become the next big thing to conquer the states, taking the reigns for the Spice Girls or even been mentioned as the female version of One Direction.
The album is their debut album and was released in 2012 shortly after winning the X Factor competition in 2011. Being the winner of such a highly profiled competition can be a bit like a double edge sword. It means they already had the exposure and coverage that most new bands could only dream of, but on the negative X Factor had a history of releasing new artists that rarely make more than one hit single if that. Many past winners such as Gareth Gates, Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leon Jackson and Joe McElderry rarely made a mark in the charts after their first single; making the pressure for Little Mix to become a success that more daunting . The only notable winners that have seen considerable success is Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis.
==TRACK BY TRACK REVIEW==
1) Wings- The track was a chart success and upon listening to it, it is understandable why. It is motivating song about picking yourself up when you feel down. The track starts off with a slight beat but more noticeable is the powerful vocals that are almost preaching to all the young listeners to ignore all the back bitters and be strong.
It is a high tempo track that gets the feet stomping and the girl power vibe out on full throttle. The music is very subtle, with the use of an almost stomping beat and drumming sound. The most noticeable part of the track is the vocals, the song does not need the high production of musical sounds and mixing, as the vocals make the track what it is, with the harmonies and the catchy chorus being the strong point of the song. In my opinion this starter track that really shows off the vocal performance of the band and their abilities to harmonise with each other as a group.
2) DNA- This is another hit single taken from the album and for me is one of my favourites. The track has RnB/Pop combination that is brilliantly mixed to produce a successful chart hit. It is a high temp love song about the love interest being perfect and that his perfect characteristic being in his 'DNA'. The beat is infectious and the use of piano and drum and bass makes the echoing lyrics that more powerful and catchy. The Chorus is very catchy, had me singing it along. The track is produced perfectly, has a great short interlude towards the middle that fades out the beat and lets the flawless harmony's sing out. The lyrics below are not mind blowing, but are still well written for a pop song.
''It's in his DNA
It's in his DNA
And he just takes my breath away
I feel it every day,
And that's what makes a man
Not hard to understand
Perfect in every way
I see it in his face
Nothing more to say
It's in his D-D-D-DNA
It's the blue in his eyes that helps me see the future
Fingerprints that leave me covered for days, yeah, hey, yeah
Now I don't have any first degree
But I know, what he does to me
No need to work it out, it's so familiar, ooh, ooh, ooh
And my heart won't beat again
If I can't feel him in my veins
No need to question, I already know''
3) Change your life- This song is a nice motivating song about inspiring its young listeners to change the bad things in their lives to a good. The lyrics in this song is a lot more powerful than the others, and has a nice message.
''Change, change your life, take it all
We're gonna stick together, know we'll get through it all
Change, change your life, take it all (yeah, take it all)
You're gonna use it to become what you've always known
(Become what you've always known)
His body starts to flicker like nobody wants to know his name
Just another soul with feelings but nobody's there to feel the pain
No, no, no
They can rip you, bring you down, down to their size
But they will never get to the heart you hold inside
You're not the only one so let them criticize
You're untouchable when you realize
The song is relatively short spanning at around 3.20, it would have been nice if it was a little bit longer, as it is a really well made track with powerful vocals and harmonys. It starts off with the sound of piano chords that after 5 seconds introduces the drum beat sounds. The track has a use of beautiful piano riffs combined with drum kit sounds, that makes the songs that much more sentimental and powerful. The vocals at 3 minutes really take it up a notch and show off the vocal talent of the singers. This track is very catchy and infectious, and left me feeling good and uplifted.
4) Always be together- I really love this track, It is a beautifully produced and written ballad. It is a bit soppy, talking about how she will always be their for her lover no matter how far they maybe apart. The lyrics again are cheesy, but still nicely written; some of my favourites include:
''We'll always be together
Don't you worry, oh
I'll always be by your side
Don't you worry
Don't worry, no no no
The circle will never end
Just know that we'll meet again
And we'll always be together
Forever always, oh
I am here
Find me in the sky
Dancing with the moon and night
Your heartbeat is disguised as my
The majority of the song plays with piano sounds and a slight drum beat, that kicks in during the chorus. The vocals use low keys and are perfectly arranged throughout the track. The chorus is again catchy and beautifully written and the powerful vocals help communicate the assurance that the two lovers will be together forever.
5) Stereo Solider- Is a up beat track, that has a good fun vibe to it. A track that you can listen to while getting ready for a night out with your girl friends. It is not the best track on the album, but it is still a song that I would play out to the end without skipping. The use of drum beat sounds though out the track gives it a fun get on your feet feel. The vocals are again top notch, using high ranges that illustrate that these girls can really sing and have very versatile voices.
==FULL TRACK LISTING==
1."Wings" written by Little Mix, Tom Barnes, Ben Kohn, Iain James, Heidi Rojas, Erika Nuri, Michelle Lewis, Mischke Butler, Peter Kelleher, Kyle Coleman, Christopher Dotson and produced by TMS. Length 3:39
2."DNA" written by Little Mix, Barnes, Peter Kelleher, Kohn, James and produced by TMS. Length 3:56
3."Change Your Life" Written by Little Mix, Richard "Biff" Stannard, Tim Powell, Ash Howes and produced by Stannard, Powell, Howes. Length 3:21
4."Always Be Together" written by Ester Dean, Dapo Torimiro Produced by DAPO. Length 4:26
5."Stereo Soldier" written by Little Mix, James, Barnes, Kohn, Kelleher produced by TMS. Length 3:22
6."Pretend It's OK" written by Little Mix, Luke Fitton, Brian Higgins, Miranda Cooper produced by Xenomania. Length 3:44
7."Turn Your Face" written by Steve Mac, Priscilla Renea and produced by Mac. Length 3:41
8."We Are Who We Are" written by Mac, Wayne Hector, Ina Wroldsen Produced by Mac. Length 3:03
9."How Ya Doin'?" written by Little Mix, Lewis, Babalola, Lewis, Carter, Skinner, Volpeliere-Pierrot, Thorp, Brookhouse, Drummond produced by Future Cut.. Length 3:12
10."Red Planet" (featuring T-Boz) written by Jon Levine, Autumn Rowe, Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins produced by Levine. Length 3:46
11."Going Nowhere" written by Little Mix, Nicola Roberts, Fred Ball, Iain James and prod by Ball. Length 3:45
12."Madhouse" written by Little Mix, James, Kyle Sandilands, Ricky Morris and prod by Pegasus. Length 3:49.
For further details regarding the track listening visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_(Little_Mix_album)#Track_listing
This album is good pop album that has some good tracks. It not an album I would shout about though, but it is still a good debut album from Little Mix. It has three stand out tracks, with the rest being mediocre tracks that are not hugely memorable.
It is definitely an album the younger teenage crowd would love, so it would be a great gift idea.
My rating for this album is 5/10
DNA is the debut album from the winners of last year's X Factor; Little Mix. The album was released in the United Kingdom in November 2012 and so is very recent. The CD is currently available to buy from Amazon for a price of £8.99 which I think is good value for money.
~ * TRACK LISTING * ~
1) Wings 2) DNA 3) Change Your Life 4) Always Be Together 5) Stereo Solider 6) Pretend It's Ok 7) Turn Your Face 8) We Are Who We Are 9) How Ya Doin'? 10) Red Planet 11) Going Nowhere 12) Madhouse 13) Love Drunk 14) Make You Believe 15) Case Closed 16) DNA Unplugged
~ * Wings * ~
This is what I would describe as being a very busy song musically; there is lots of going on. It reminds me of that little dance you do when you clap under your knees (you know what I mean don't you?'. This song is a like a lot of songs mixed into one. The chorus is very catchy and bursting with girl power. I can't resist singing and dancing along with this song when I hear it. It is a very popular song; I noticed the other night when dancing in a club and this song came on, absolutely everyone knew the words and were singing along.
~ * DNA * ~
As soon as I heard this song I loved it. It has instant appeal. It's very dark, moody and mysterious. I love the verses and the girls sound great on this. I also love the chorus; it's very 'boom boom' and powerful. It has a heavy beat. I like how the song has different styles of music, from rapping to opera (although I'm not convinced that's actually them singing - it annoys me on the video when they are 'miming' along to the opera bit; and I just think, even though they are miming, you wouldn't be 'singing' like that (as though they are shouting) along to the 'opera' part of the song.
~ * Change Your Life * ~
I knew I was going to like this song as soon as it started. Whilst I did find the 'talking' bit at the beginning to be quite irritating at first, I do find it to be quite 'quirky' and 'catchy' now. Once the singing starts, it turns into a good song. It's not my favourite song on here, but I like how 'powerful' and 'inspiring' this song is.
~ * Always Be Together * ~
This is a softer kind of song. It's not my favourite song though. I find it cheesy in places. I find that I skip this one as it just doesn't 'do it' for me. I mean it's ok, but not as good as the other songs on here.
~ * Stereo Soldier * ~
I didn't really like t his song to begin with, although after a few listens I like it more. It's very much like 'Wings'. There are lots of harmonies on here. The song is very catchy.
~ * Pretend It's Ok * ~
I like this song. It's quite powerful but in a 'laid back' kind of way. I could imagine listening to this song when driving in the car. It's quite unusual, but I like this chorus. I do think that it could be more dramatic and better than it is though. This song doesn't really show off their voices either, but again, there is some good harmonies on here.
~ * Turn Your Face * ~
I don't like how this song begins with all the laughing and chatting at the beginning, but then I guess it makes a song a bit more 'personal' for the fans. I love this song; it's a really nice soft ballad which is a pleasure to listen to. It's quite an emotional song.
~ * We Are Who We Are * ~
The beginning reminds me of Nicki Minaj's song, the one where she says 'let's go to the beach'. I like this song; it's very catchy. I also like the 'girl power' attitude. It's definitely an inspirational song as it sends out a good message to young teenagers. It's a song about celebrating who we are.
~ * How Ya Doin'? * ~
This phone starts off with a song at the beginning. I don't really like this song. It sounds a bit cheesy. It's got a really 'old' sound...like something from the 80's. I don't really like this song. Whilst I do think that this song is a grower, I do tend to skip it.
~ * Red Planet * ~
I kind of like this song. It's a nice enough song, however I do think that it has great potential; it could do so much better than it does. I think that this song is definitely a grower; the more you listen to it, the more you end up liking it.
~ * Going Nowhere * ~
I absolutely love the 'Spanish' feel this song has!! Latino music is one of my favourite genres. I didn't expect this from Little Mix. I feel like I have heard this song before. There are some good harmonies on here. This is a nice 'easy listening' kind of song.
~ * Madhouse * ~
This song sounds quite strange when it first began; I had no idea what to expect with this song. Again, it has that typical 'Little Mix' sound. This isn't my favourite song. It's a weird song - just when you think it's going somewhere, it doesn't get there in the end. It has great potential and could be a 'strong' song, but in fact turns out to be quite a weak song. This is definitely not single material; I would describe this song as being a 'filler'.
~ * Love Drunk * ~
This is a fun kind of song. It reminds me of something the girlbands of the 90's would sing. However, when the chorus kicks in, well...that's where you get the Little Mix sound! Parts of it reminds me of the song 'My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard'. This isn't one of my favourite songs and so again I tend to hit the 'skip button'.
~ * Make You Believe * ~
Their 'ahs' at the beginning of this song makes them sound as though they are in pain. The song is quite 'dark'. Just when you think it's going to be great a song, and changes, and so I would describe this song as being quite 'unexpected' as you can't guess what will happen next musically. A few changes to the melody and this song could be great. I think it's the chorus that lets this song down.
~ * Case Closed * ~
As soon as I heard this song, I knew I was going to love it. It's a very likeable song and I like how it tells a story as it makes the lyrics interesting to listen to. I would describe this song as being an easy-listening song. I could imagine Rihanna singing something like this. It's an 'in the background' kind of song; the kind you could listen to whilst doing something else rather than going straight to put that song on to actually listen to.
~ * DNA Unplugged * ~
This is another version of DNA. This is an acoustic version. This sounds 'live' and so its good to actually hear them sing live and 'natural' rather than the 'digitally altered' voices that they have on the CD.. It's a really beautiful version of this song; really sweet and emotional. I think that they sound really good on this. This version really shows off their voices and I love their harmonies.
~ * What Do I think? * ~
The girls sound brilliant on this album. I hadn't really realised how good of singers they actually are. It's clear that Perri and Jesy have the strongest and most powerful voices; the other two are able to do the 'softer parts' of the songs. They do a lot of harmonies (I think in every single song) and they sound brilliant.
There are some good songs on this album; they are all quite catchy and have you wanting to sing and dance along. I love the whole 'girl power' theme that the majority of their songs seem to have. The majority of the songs are very up-beat and I have found that this is a heart-warming album. It makes you feel good and I find that there is something very inspiring and hopeful about this album.
The girls have a very 'girl next door' kind of attitude which I think is great, as they do come across as being really down to earth and normal. I like how their songs are about normal things about 'taking us for who we are' and about other things that people worry about in general. It's a great inspirational and feel good album.
I would definitely recommend this album! I think that this album will appeal to people of all ages; kids, teens and adults. The album is very 'fresh, new and exciting' and is completely different to anything else in the charts right now! They have developed a great sound which is easy to identify. Well done girls!
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x