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ATP! Album Review: Fifth Harmony - Reflection

The young, talented ladies of Fifth Harmony have been performing together since 2012, the year they created the group on the second season of The X Factor. Fast forward to today, and these young women have been churning out radio hits like “Miss Movin On” and “Me & My Girls.” They’ve opened for Demi Lovato, Cher Lloyd, and Austin Mahone, but have also headlined their own tours since 2013. Their genuine enthusiasm and charming personalities have gained them an extremely large and dedicated fanbase known collectively as the Harmonizers.

So it may come as quite a surprise to casual fans or followers of pop culture that the popular quintet – comprised of Ally Brooke Hernandez, Dinah Jane Hanson, Lauren Jauregui, Normani Kordei, and Camila Cabello – is only releasing their highly- anticipated debut album in early 2015. However, the long wait for Reflection was much needed for the girls to grow as a group.

Reflection opens strongly with the sexy, synth-heavy “Top Down,” followed by the album’s first singles and clear standouts, the insanely catchy girl-power anthem “Bo$$” and the powerhouse vocal track “Sledge Hammer.” Songs like “Everlasting Love” and “Like Mariah” (which was co-written by Mariah Carey herself) successfully embrace the sounds of late 90s and early 00s R&B, while other songs like “This Is How We Roll” rely on the EDM formula of dropping the beat after building it during a melodic chorus. “We Know” boasts the girls’ impressive pipes and tight harmonies as they sing a cappella. These stark differences offer an interesting listening experience and could definitely appeal to a wide range of music fans.

Reflection is at its best when the girls are able to show off their very capable vocals on memorable melodies with rich harmonies, and at its worst when the lyrics reference taking selfies with no filter and posting it on “the ‘gram” with “hashtag I woke up like this.” Still, there is no doubt Fifth Harmony knows how to hook their target teenage audience and promote self-love, confidence, and girl power. In a world that is ruled by cute boy bands or male-fronted rock bands that attempt to tell girls what they want to hear, it is so refreshing and important to have such a talented all-female group top the charts with a song like “Bo$$.”

Overall, Reflection is a solid debut album for Fifth Harmony with an abundance of infectious tunes sure to make listeners dance and sing along. It may not be the most groundbreaking or timeless album of all time, but it assures that, despite having been together for almost three years, this is only beginning for Fifth Harmony.


Nicole Pieri

Reflection will be officially released on February 2nd.

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