Fifth Harmony’s sophomore album “7/27”, hit stores on May 27th, 2016. Prior to the album being released, Fifth Harmony promised to all of their fans that this album was more of “their” sound and it was more on track to what they want to represent as a girl group opposed to their first album, “Reflection”. The standard copy of 7/27 comes with 10 songs, and the deluxe US version comes with 12.
To start off their second album, Fifth Harmony’s first song is one entitled “That’s My Girl”. Not only has this song been a promo for the Rio 2016 women’s gymnastics team, but it has been reported that this is going to be 5H’s next upcoming single. The song is very focused on girl power with a strong beat and high energy to match. The song not only encourages girls to do whatever they pursue, but Fifth Harmony almost gives the listener a feeling like they’re singing directly to you as they say “that’s my girl”. “That’s My Girl” is perfect to go running to or just to listen to when needing motivation or when you just want to feel good.
Overall the rest of the album carries this theme of songs that make you want to dance and make you feel good about yourself. A song very similar to “That’s My Girl” is “Not That Kinda Girl” which features one of Fifth Harmony’s idols and inspirations, Missy Elliot. The song carries a high energy beat with lyrics to match. The song all in all is a sort of narrative of a girl going to a club and knowing she’s hot, but not being the type of the girl “you can freak on the first date” (actual lyrics in Missy Elliot’s rap). It carries the message of “you can look but don’t touch” many artists in the early 2000’s have built on before. I feel like it’s a great song for girl power because yes, Fifth Harmony are saying they aren’t that kind of girl, but they aren’t putting down any specific type of girl in the meantime.
Other songs on the album that are high energy and upbeat are; “Work From Home”, “Write on Me”, “All In My Head (Flex)”, “I Lied”, and “Scared of Happy”. These songs, although ranging in meaning and depth, all have a light hearted beat that just makes you feel good. Fifth Harmony did a really good job of genre-bending on this album which proves great for their fans (called Harmonizers) who all come to this one girl group with very different tastes. For example: All In My Head (Flex) gives off a very island-y vibe, like something you would play at the beach whereas Scared of Happy brings a more “electronic” vibe, with a breakdown in the chorus that reminds me of the beat in Justin Bieber’s song with Diplo “Where Are You Now”. It’s a good way to reach and connect with more people who have different tastes and want different things to come from Fifth Harmony’s work.
Fifth Harmony’s second album differs from their first in the sense that come this album, they included slow ballad-like songs with meaning. On their last album, they really only punched out happy love song after happy inspiring song and didn’t include any songs that slow down. This time around, songs like “Squeeze”, “Gonna Get Better”, “Dope” and “No Way” come throughout the album to deliver a break from the happy-go-lucky love and powerful inspiring songs to bring more emotion and more flavor into the album. This is a breath of fresh air because, being a fan of Fifth Harmony, I have seen them perform covers of slower songs and ballads on their tours and they absolutely kill it, so for them to finally have their own slower songs on their album is a breath of fresh air.
To conclude, I must say that come this time around, Fifth Harmony has really started to put their voices and what they as a group want into their music and they’ve started to grow into the image of power and self-love that they have always from the beginning stood by. The girls also have more equalized solos, so not one girl is highlighted throughout the whole album as it had been with “Reflection”. Giving all of the girls solos within different songs brings in a more unique sound and I believe they distributed the solos well and really gave the girls parts based on what their individual voices would thrive on.
I rate this album a 4.5 out of 5. I would’ve given it a 5, because I believe for a girl group album in this generation it is truly a masterpiece, but they lost .5 because they left out songs that were released on other editions that would’ve done so well in the US. These songs include “Big Bad Wolf” and “1000 Hands”, two songs with very different styles that were included on the Japanese deluxe edition, and “Voicemail” which was a bonus track on Napster. These songs, if included on every edition in the US, would’ve completed the perfect album package for Fifth Harmony and it’s a shame they still aren’t available for US fans. But still, overall the album 7/27 - cutely named after the date these 5 powerful ladies were formed by Simon Cowell on X-Factor - is a great product with varying genre-bending songs that make you want to dance, laugh, cry, and do whatever it is you do best.