Fifth Harmony Shows their New Vibe in “Reflection”
By Victoria Priola
2015 is the year of women empowerment so it’s no surprise that pop group Fifth Harmony is trending up a storm with their latest album Reflection that debuted on February 3. The highly anticipated album has made it to number one on iTunes within the first twenty four hours of release, surpassing Taylor Swift’s 1989. While collaborating with artists such as Meghan Trainor and Tyga, Fifth Harmony sought out inspiration for their songs from female media icons such as Beyoncé, Oprah and Michelle Obama.
Before the girls were making money like the First Lady, they took to the stage of the music talent show X-Factor in 2012 and came in third place with the help of their mentor Simon Cowell. Shortly after the show ended, the band followed in the footsteps of Cowell’s previous mentees One Direction and Emblem 3 and signed a joined deal with Cowell’s Syco Records and L.A Reid’s Epic Records. They released their first E.P Better Together including their hit single “Miss Movin’ On” in November 2013.
A band that easily could have fallen into the “one hit wonder” category quickly became the leading feminist musical influence in 2014 going into 2015. The girls have an MTV “Artist to Watch” award from the 2014 VMAs and a gig at the White House to prove it.
According to band member Camila Cabello’s twitter, Reflection had been assigned a release date three times before it ultimately came out. The band was not ready for the world to hear their music and wanted their work to be perfect.
The hype for Reflection was rekindled during July 2014 when the band released their single “BO$$”. The video displayed a more mature wardrobe and choreography than the band has ever done before- prepping “Harmonizers”, formally known as Harmony fans, for a game changing record.
The second single “Sledgehammer” emerged in late August 2014 and was co-written by Meghan Trainor. The song led to Harmony performing their chart topping hit on Ryan Seacrest’s Z100 Radio Show and an acoustic version of their track “We Know” on MTV’s Artist Unplugged.
iTunes radio released the whole album free for Apple users a week before its release and Harmonizers were far from disappointed. According to Time magazine’s review, Reflection has many layers to all the songs on their album.
Reflection is geared more towards a younger generation – one who is growing with the band itself. This album has been a milestone for the band and Harmonizers are coming along for the ride.
Although a fair portion of the album has to do with millennial relationship issues such a breakups or having feelings for a person but not having the guts to say anything (blah, blah, blah), Harmony puts a significant amount of focus on empowering young women to become successful entrepreneurs and to set themselves apart from others instead of being dependent. Songs like “Them Girls Be Like”, “Suga Mama”, and “BO$$” have a feminist point of view, while keeping the music fun and upbeat.
All fourteen tracks have an up tempo dance club beat, while songs like “Brave, Honest and Beautiful” and “Everlasting Love” bring back the heartfelt melodies Harmony has done before.
Another trend the girls bring back in their album is the rhythmic R&B style of the 90’s hit “Always be my baby” by Mariah Carey. Harmony uses that beat and adds their own personal flare to it on their track “Like Mariah”.
“Worth It” was the third single released before Reflection came out and immediately exploded over the Internet. It has a very similar sound to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty to Me”.
“This is How We Roll”, “Body Rock” and “Top Down” are not exactly the most memorable tracks of the album, but they keep with the theme of pop artists turn rhythmic.
Although the album was an overall hit, critics recognize that the band is still new in the music industry and trying to find their own voice.
Their inexperience has been beneficial for them in the eyes of their more famous fans. Simon Cowell tweeted on Reflection’s release date “Got to hand it you @Harmonizers. The @FifthHarmony album is currently number one on iTunes in 25 countries. LA is the man!” The band also received praises by Meghan Trainor and Demi Lovato.
With a number one album and overflowing social media attention, Harmonizers knew a tour was the next thing to come from the girls. Harmony’s twenty two date tour presented by MTV was announced on January 7. The band will be performing in sixteen states within the next month along with Jacob Whitesides, Jasmine V, and Mahogany Lox.
Harmony can also be seen collaborating with Becky G and Internet sensations like Alphacat and Kingbach in the anti-smoking ad “Left Swipe That”. Inspired by the trending dating app Tinder, the artists came together and recording a song all about how unattractive it is to smoke.
For more Fifth Harmony updates, follow the band’s twitter @FifthHarmony. Their album can be purchased on iTunes or any major music store in the area.