Fifth Harmony – Reflection – Album Review
After nearly 2 years of anticipation, Fifth Harmony‘s full length debut album, Reflection, has been unveiled to the world. The true winners and biggest success of The X Factor USA have officially arrived – Normani Hamilton, Dinah Jane Hansen, Camilla Cabelo, Ally Brooke Hernandez & Lauren Jauregui. How did the quintet fare? Let’s get into the set below!
This album is all about slick production! The album kicks off with “Top Down,” a retro-feeling electro-hip hop track which seems to be infused with some DJ Mustard. It’s pretty good, and the “electric city” hook is oh so catchy!
Of course, you are familiar with the hit lead single “BO$$” which Normani completely owns! I’m still shocked at the hip-hop swagger the girls brought for their lead single and I am still here for it. Next, you re also familiar with the pop anthem “Sledgehammer” aka the girls’ breakthrough single which “popped” at Top 40 radio. I was once weary of the song but after a many listens the song is quite excellent and I see why it was shipped as their “make it” track.
“Worth It,” reportedly the set’s third single comes next. It is by no means and offensive track, it is pretty good..really good. But the repetitive nature of the chorus and the heavy parts given to Camila could have been changed to make the song even stronger. But Kid Ink delivers and the although the production is very reminiscent of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty,” I still like it. “This is How We Roll” is pretty meh, but we had to expect them to put a full-throttle EDM song on here – so this is it. I’ll just leave it at that.
The next two tracks really speak to me because they are R&B hip-hop gems and I appreciate them. “Everlasting Love” is just straightforward R&B. The girls are SANG-ing and it’s just magnificent. Lauren’s vocals at the beginning just set everything off and it doesn’t go down from there, especially with Dinah on the chorus. “Like Mariah,” which features Tyga and samples Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” is great as well. I feel like the song is too over-produced and the reggae section doesn’t do it that much for me, but y’all know – it still pops! “Them Girls Be Like,” the sassy buzz single they released earlier is also a treat, albeit missing the little bit of edginess and add the repetitive hook we see a lot.
Next – the album highlight is the title track, “Reflection.” 5H put on their trap star hats and ball out and just completely and outright show their tails on this song! I loved it when I first heard the live version and this album version makes my life complete. It’s the oozing of R&B and hip-hop perfection is legit mind-boggling. “Suga Mama,” although another repetitive chorus is down the alley of some good R&B as well & I ain’t mad. The girls show off their unique voices, tight harmonies, and a cappella goodness with “We Know,” as the album’s resident ballad. I usually don’t like the ballads but the edge that this song has is unmistakably awesome.
I’m actually really salty that “Going Nowhere” is not present on the on the standard version of the album but I’ll let it slide because “Going Nowhere is a JAM. All of the girls just go in. LOL. You’d think Harmony Samuels, who did Ariana Grande’s “The Way” would come with something similar for 5H, but “Body Rock” is a dance-floor anthem which doesn’t really meet the mark with the rest.
The album closes with “Brave, Honest, Beautiful” with Megan Trainor. The song isn’t bad. They didn’t have to reference every pop star because they are popping themselves, but I’ll chill. I could see why this on the deluxe. Cliche, but not that bad. The production and putting together of this one could have been better.
All in all, 5H really did it on ’em and delivered a solid first set. I’m very pleased and Reflection was well worth the wait. While I do think many of the tracks were over-produced and that their writers need to write less-repetitive hooks, I doesn’t take away from this debut at all. I am so excited to see what this group has in store for the future.
What did I say last time?
The X Factor USA makes stars…and these stars are no one but the ladies of Fifth Harmony!!
Key Tracks: “Sledgehammer,” “Reflection,” “Going Nowhere.”