Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Fifth Harmony – Angel

We’d comment on the VMA thing, but we value our inboxes too much…


Ryo Miyauchi: A snappy delivery, an adoption of expletives, a rejection of a holy image: Fifth Harmony hit note for note what a girl group should do to appear grown out of their past. The checking of boxes comes off a bit too deliberate, though I’m more than satisfied to take home one seething line that the old 5H would never claim so boldly: “Open your eyes, I’m more brilliant than you’ll ever be.”

Stephen Eisermann: If 5H continues putting out music like this — sexy, edgy, fun, no fucks — then losing Camila will end up being the best thing that ever happened to this group. “Angel” has all four girls strutting, commanding, and owning this adult R&B composition without so much as a glance into their past.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Yet another example of “girl-group exploring more mature themes = embracing trap elements,” but the Skrillex/Poo Bear production — particularly those distorted manipulated synth-voice leads — works incredibly well in contrast with the girls’ ’90s R&B-inspired harmonies. Also noteworthy: Everybody has an equal part on the track. Fifth Harmony without Camila finally sounds like a true democracy. 

Nortey Dowuona: The harmonization is on point, but the drums are too heavy. Plus, the synths are all flat and grey and the bass synth clutters up the pre-chorus and chorus.

Eleanor Graham: Atmospherics in a Fifth Harmony single are kind of like ordering peach Fanta from the drinks machine at Five Guys and getting gin and tonic — cool, but it’s 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, and I didn’t know it was on the menu. The darker mood doesn’t jar, however. The hook is mistily inoffensive, and Lauren Jauregui’s pre-chorus is a smouldering high point. But it’s no “No Angel.” largely due to its failure to build a world around its central lyrical conceit — a strategy Fifth Harmony pursued obsessively on their biggest hit.

Alex Clifton: 5H shoot for “edgy and dangerous” and land squarely in “generic and slurred.” These girls can do better — and if they’re “more brilliant” as they claim, they need to up their game.

Olivia Rafferty: The new Fifth Harmony single doesn’t have that hit factor that would normally be delivered by a killer melodic hook, like in “That’s My Girl” or “Work.” But the girls have slid a little further into R&B pop since Camila’s departure, which gives a more sultry taste to their music. “Angel” has dynamic peaks and troughs, but they’re not overtly noticeable. The tastiest part is Normani and Lauren’s verses in the opening.

Alfred Soto: Sung from the point of view of a Drake object, subject, or — from the plaintive vocals on this track — victim, “Angel” uses the stutters and distorted haunted house vocal samples familiar to Tinashe listeners. If this cautionary tale and affirmation makes the top five, consider it a rebuke, Aubrey.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: A song built not on unwavering confidence but on insecurity. The cries are spoken and directed at another but meant more for healing of self. And without the unique timbre of Camila’s voice, Fifth Harmony sounds like a consolidated unit, sustaining the song’s agitated mood. Like a shouting-filled breakup fight, the emotions are stronger when words aren’t spoken; those periods of pure instrumentation in the chorus are the aural equivalent of quivering lips, of frequent sniffling, of struggled attempts at maintaining eye contact. And when the bridge appears, it’s like running your fingers across the song’s canvas. The physicality of “Angel” is wholly felt, and the pain that fuels these lyrics is intimately understood.

Reader average: [5] (4 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

One Response to “Fifth Harmony – Angel”

  1. This song is EXCELLENT.

    Lauren’s vocal

    The BEAT

    “Way too young to be up in handcuffs”