Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Little Mix ft. Nicki Minaj – Woman Like Me

“Women Like Us” is a less catchy title, though.


[Video][Website]
[4.53]

Katie Gill: I’m so mad that this is a lead single! Because if you hadn’t told me otherwise, I’d have guessed third single at the most. Those lyrics are a little too “Shape of You” at certain points — unsurprising since Ed Sheeran had a hand in writing the song. Some of the girls are obviously more comfortable in their lower register than others and it shows. And, like a worrying amount of her recent guest raps, Nicki Minaj’s rap doesn’t fit with the song at all. Still, it’s a Little Mix song so it’s going to spend the next twenty weeks somewhere on the charts. Say what you will about the group, but they’ve gotten the pop song format down pat.
[5]

Tobi Tella: Hearing my sworn enemy tropical pop in 2018 was almost enough to make me hate this on principle, but I just can’t. Little Mix has so much more charisma than a typical girl group, and that’s what sells most of this for me. Add an above average Nicki Minaj verse and we have a solid pop song! You win this round, trop pop.
[6]

Lauren Gilbert: Dear Jesy, if you ever get tired of Deeply Generic White Dude Rappers, please call me.  xx, Lauren
[8]

Iain Mew: Are the recycled lines from “Sing” there to draw attention to the otherwise inaudible Ed Sheeran co-write? Is his presence as a promotion tick box more important than the writing? Speaking of recycling, the Nicki verse lampshades the aim as being “Side to Side” but safer; the combined forces of her, Sheeran, Jess Glynne, Steve Mac, and Little Mix succeed all too well.
[5]

Will Adams: With Fifth Harmony disbanded, Little Mix turn to Ariana Grande for inspiration. If this “Side to Side” replica is any indication, we can expect the entirety of LM5 to just be Dangerous Woman but scrubbed of all ambition and replaced with empowerment clichés.
[3]

Julian Axelrod: This sounds like it could be one of the Little Mix members’ inevitable solo debuts. Instead, the song about being unapologetically yourself is filtered through four different members of a girl group, their personas ranging from troublemaker to tough talker to… woman who likes kissing? Nicki offers a welcome jolt of personality, but Reggae Pop Feature Queen has always been her most boring iteration. And this is not a song that needs more competing perspectives.
[5]

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Jade Thirlwall’s part in the pre-chorus offsets the confidence with a dose of real-world insecurity. She draws a line from her previous breakups and her mom’s comments to a very real fear that’s completed by Perrie Edwards. “Could you fall for a woman like me?” she sings, but it’s not the braggadocious taunt she hopes it could be. At its best, “Woman Like Me” captures the tendency to view one’s strengths (in this case, outspokenness) as a weakness. Considering this exact trait is often derided as negative from men — women are “loud-mouthed,” “obnoxious,” “brash” — there’s a lot of emotional turmoil hidden underneath the stock reggae instrumental. While I’d really like for Nicki Minaj’s part to read as victorious encouragement or modeling, it just feels like an opportunistic feature that was slotted in without much thought. There’s so much potential here and it just feels wasted.
[5]

John Seroff: Considering the painfully basic nature of Sheeran, Glynne and Mac’s faux feminist lyric declarations of self (“You like a weekday curry take out and sugar in your coffee? Slow down there, Andrea Dworkin!”), this is far better than it has any right to be. Credit due to a good bassline, the Mixsters excellent phrasing and a well-placed whistle note.
[6]

Katherine St Asaph: Little Mix, with this joyless “Side By Side” retread, continue to answer the question: Would the Sugababes’ quality still have declined if they kept all their original members?
[2]

Alfred Soto: Boasting the retro stylings on which Christina Aguilera moored herself in the mid 2000s, “Woman Like Me” doesn’t align Little Mix or Nicki Minaj to any tradition except the cheerful compromise signed by male songwriters (Ed Sheeran and Steve Mac in this case) and female songwriters (Jess Glynne, for god’s sake).
[3]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The Production and Nicki Minaj of “Side to Side” + the vocal affect and lyrical conceit of 2015 Meghan Trainor + Ed Sheeran-contributed lyrical details =
[3]

Thomas Inskeep: If there’s one thing Little Mix shouldn’t be doing, it’s singing to a “skanking” rhythm — let alone one that briefly goes EDM-pop on its chorus. And then Minaj drops in for a bridge that is most definitely not “bars.”
[0]

Stephen Eisermann: Surprisingly hot, and I say surprising because when I first heard people describe this as reggae infused I started getting nervous. The ladies of Little Mix pull it off well and despite making me long for the days of peak Fifth Harmony (so… two/three years ago), I’m glad we have a strong female group releasing some pretty dope music. Their voices carry a natural swag and it’s hard not to sway to the beat of the track; next time, leave Nicki off, though, especially if all she’s bringing to the song is a poorly-sung, half-assed verse.
[6]

Taylor Alatorre: Sure was nice of Little Mix to leave in those high-pitched Jess Glynne artifacts, especially since she was totally right to pass on this. The cover art screams “things are serious now,” but this style of warmed-over reggae-trap would barely have qualified as one of the edgier things on Katy Perry’s last album. To compensate, Little Mix spare no effort on the vocals, with Perrie’s high notes and Leigh-Anne’s nimble drawl serving as particular highlights. The record-skipping effect is a clever way to break up the monotony of the chorus without disrupting the flow. And the production isn’t entirely useless: the fuzzed-out bassline finds a suitable calling as backdrop for Nicki Minaj, who blithely code switches between sexual patois and music industry shop talk. In other words, a standard Nicki verse, but it’s elevated to something more by the way she sounds completely at home in this setting. It’s through sheer force of will, and not songwriting prowess, that “Woman Like Me” manages to command your attention.
[6]

Scott Mildenhall: Stop allowing Ed Sheeran to replicate his innumerable lyrical shortcomings within other artists’ work. The Olly Murs-channelled shots-and-tequila semi-rap is one thing — and in fact one that better suits Murs. But the couch-mouth non-rhyme was not good the first time, nor the second time, and certainly not this third time. If he wants to stretch his threadbare ideas pool out then he can do so in his own time, like when he got really into Van Morrison for a bit. For now though, he should just let Little Mix copy Ariana Grande in peace.
[5]

Reader average: [5.5] (2 votes)

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

Leave a Reply