Monday, July 16th, 2012

Little Mix – Wings

Self-empowerment single from reality show winners? Colour us shocked.


Erick Bieritz: One Direction and The Wanted have established a beachhead, so it’s only a matter of time before UK girl groups muster and try their luck. The timing is right for Little Mix, and “Wings” follows a proven formula, stomping and shuffling along at an admirably brisk pace. But it’s still a bit Xenomania-lite with a flabby hook, and if Girls Aloud didn’t catch on in the states, Little Mix faces long odds to claim the Spice Girls’ long-dormant American crossover throne.

Jonathan Bogart: The inherently syncopated qualities of the phrase “mama told me” has been responsible for a lot of great music over the years. Add this to the list, and also to the lists of songs made great by horn charts and “Pon De Floor” imitations.

Anthony Easton: I like their voices, and I love any pop song that starts with a mother’s exhortation. This could be the soundtrack of baby gaylette youtube videos, a genre of folk art and political activism that I always support, so I won’t be too much of a curmudgeon about the lyrics. 

Alfred Soto: The tap-tap percussion toughens the empowerment message; this tune never stops for a breath. 

Kat Stevens: I totally voted for them to win X Factor so Little Mix’s awful winners single was partially MY FAULT. “Wings” is a massive improvement obviously (especially the military parade breakdown at the end) and the girls sound great together (nearly as good as this), but I think the production could do with a bit more oomph. If the video turns out to have them doing a complicated handclapping routine throughout then I might overlook this and upgrade to an [8]?

Iain Mew: Bounces and rattles in all the right places and has easily enough going on to distract from the occasional clunky lyric. Already well on their way to being the most exciting British girl group around, and if achieving that accolade just means being less useless than The Saturdays and less compromised than Stooshe, that isn’t their fault.

Brad Shoup: Kinda like a J. Y. Park production, but with this month’s quixotic idea of a chorus: grandiose worry. It’s stuffed with run-that syncopated claps and military drum bullshit (and curiously not stuffed with the intro’d brass): those harmonies grind all of it into meal.

Pete Baran: A lot of bands neglect the endings to their songs. A simple fade, or even worse an ad lib to fade is often left to suffice. Little Mix, as X Factor winners, have their Girls Aloud moment here and since Syco have probably scoured the UK for the best song the band could possibly record, there is no surprise that it’s pretty good. What no-one could expect is a genuinely complex song structure that keeps confidently building until it hits that outro. An outro that makes you want to hear the whole thing again. Let’s see how household Perrie, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Jade can get.

Edward Okulicz: Hey, British girl groups have, as far as the use of voice goes, finally caught up to America. The America of the early 90s, but it’s a start. This could almost be a pretty good En Vogue single (that’s a back-handed compliment, by the way) and imperial-phase Destiny’s Child could have done great things with the beat. Little Mix merely do good things with it; their voices are sassy and confident, and ride the rhythm with skill and palpable enjoyment, but the song sparks and fizzles as its lyrics hit or miss.

Jonathan Bradley: I was going to make my blurb something along the lines of “Here’s hoping this gets big enough that X-Factor contestants can pull it out when they need to prove they understand Real Music,” but then I googled Little Mix and discovered they were X-Factor contestants themselves. The handclaps are pretty neat, I guess.

Colin Small: Powerful in its delivery but achingly trite in its message and attitude.

3 Responses to “Little Mix – Wings”

  1. Bloody hell, by the end of the year Jesy’s hair extensions are going to cover 7/8ths of the world’s surface, aren’t they?

  2. Surprisingly good, and I agree with Brad’s assessment, definitely sounds like something J.Y. Park would do, but massive improvement over the winner’s single, looks like they’re gonna make it after all…

  3. IT’S AWESOME!!!!!!!!!