That’s right, it’s This Guy Again Day…
Maxwell Cavaseno: Little Mix, and a lot of British pop stars of the last few years, suffer from a weird inelasticity. It’s not just the supposedly formulaic nature of pop that skeptics like to criticize, but a rigidity that comes from being too controlled in execution, too measured. The tone of “No More Sad Songs” isn’t triumphant, melancholy or resigned. Instead it’s weighed with expectation, the tension of someone who insistently wants “negativity” purged from their life to the point their environment becomes sterile. Likewise, there’s a EDM drop that feels more “supposed to be there” than necessary, and if we didn’t need any further indications of such a non-rigorous musical outing, here comes Machine Gun Kelly, a guy who embodies the Rigor Mortis flow more than even Kendrick Lamar ever could.
Will Adams: Little Mix continue to stay in radio’s narrow lane, and like last time, their collective personality helps elevate the been-there-done-that dancehall-pop. But then, an unasked-for MGK elbows his way in. At least when other songs employ perfunctory features, the music doesn’t mimic how much they’re sinking the song.
Alfred Soto: It starts fine until the munchkin voices stink up the joint.
Katherine St Asaph: The beginning makes me wonder whether the xx’s “Intro” was improbably patient zero for pop tropicalia — Jamie certainly likes steel drums enough for it. The rest just makes me lament how Little Mix sacrificed their Salute-era charm at the altar of radio fodder. The nominal point of The X Factor is to find vocalists and personalities, but why bother if you’re just going to use them as source material for cut-ups and vehicles for Machine Gun Kelly?
Scott Mildenhall: Preferable features to the one Little Mix are lumbered with here: Lorraine Kelly, Matthew Kelly, Kelly Llorenna. Happily he’s easy to ignore, just as the lyrics suggest, but that doesn’t stop them being marked by disconnect at the disco. Aiming for escapism but being dragged down by the DJ, this doesn’t pummel its sadness to Del Rey or Sub Focus levels, but it carries its weight appealingly.
Katie Gill: “No More Sad Songs” does an amazing job tapping into the inherent sadness of the lyrics while still giving us a fun party vibe — and then Machine Gun Kelly comes in, attempts to rap, and bring the song to a screeching halt. Surely there’s a live version where he’s edited out, right?
Claire Biddles: My unabashed love for Little Mix has been well documented here, but I can’t get excited about a cynical stick-a-phoned-in-feature-on-it re-hash of one of the weaker tracks from Glory Days. Little Mix are the best girlband we have, with the most genuine personality, and we all deserve better than this vehicle for Spotify streams.