What’s that about scoring songs higher?
A.J. Cohn: Little Mix do exhilaration undeniably well (see the hard-earned joy of their recent “Shout Out to My Ex”), so it’s a disappointment that this song, which is all about the ecstatic, electric feeling of first being with someone, doesn’t sound like fun at all. Rather, this wannabe banger by way of Bieber (check that sub-“Sorry” synth line) sounds tired and dull. The strikingly passive lyrics don’t sound like descriptions of a good time either.
Katie Gill: It’s amazing how this shares so much with “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, yet the songs don’t share any writers. That chorus is a banger, though, and the Little Mix team sounds amazing together. As soon as the chorus kicks into high gear and we’ve got that backing, the harmonies, and the “hey!” in the background, I straight up fall in love all over again.
Claire Biddles: “Touch” is such a satisfying sequel to “Shout Out To My Ex”, dripping with the easy pleasures of new love: the blissful calm after the show of strength. The declaration that “for the first time I am not faking” is another twist of the knife for the ex that she admitted faking with before, but it’s also an earnest admission of the sexual and emotional discovery that comes with the rush of early romance. Blind exaltation of a new lover rarely lasts, but for now this new start feels fresh and delicious.
Mo Kim: The track doesn’t quite reach the release the lyrics promise, content to chug along on a catchy syncopated rhythm (the harmonies, thankfully, fill in some of the blank space). That said, there’s a reason this particular rhythm is one so many pop songwriters go back to. Would score this higher if it came packaged with an instruction manual for vogueing and lip-syncing.
Katherine St Asaph: Little Mix are too good for Fifth Harmony’s castoffs. The harmonies suggest a crushed-out sweetness; the rest is tiresome faux-“grownup” sass.
Dorian Sinclair: “Touch'”is a lot of fun and the melody is infectious, but I can’t help but wish there were more unexpected harmonies — otherwise what’s the point of having so many vocalists? Also, there’s a real problem with vanishing terminal consonants, which occasionally makes figuring out what’s being said an adventure in itself.
Ryo Miyauchi: With less sass in their voice, Little Mix initially seem to confuse being grown and in touch with one’s feelings as emoting less. But you can hear their straight faces slowly crack as they bat a wink harder with each line. Though the drop and the bridge cool the tension more than it heats, it’s still satisfying when their urge finally wriggles its way out.
Will Adams: There’s stuff to like in “Touch” — the contrast between the two choruses, first tentative, then celebratory; the “Forest Interlude” flute; the ending harmonies — but this is the least distinctive Little Mix have sounded in a long time.
Ramzi Awn: Whether “Touch” is music or noise is debatable, but Little Mix’s barrage of sound can’t help but win you over by the end.