“Fifth Harmony” is the self titled third studio album from girl group Fifth Harmony. It was released on August 25th through Epic Records and debuted at number 1 in 38 countries, a massive milestone for a group that had the dramatic departure of Camila Cabello earlier this year. Last year their mega-hit “Work From Home” became their first Top 10 single, establishing the group as a Top 40 force to be reckoned with. Now a foursome they had to reevaluate themselves and find a new mix that works, and they’ve definitely found that nucleus with there ego-boosting empowerment anthems. This album certainly kicked off with a hot start, with the lead single “Down” featuring rapper Gucci Mane becoming a global hit on the radio air waves.
The recording sessions for the album began in January of 2017. During the creative process the members had more involvement in the writing of the majority of the songs, choosing which ones to produce and sharing ideas during the production. The group collaborated with several well known record producers and songwriters, including The Stereotypes, Skrillex, Poo Bear, Ester Dean, Dreamlab and more. According to 5H member Lauren Jauregui, those collaborators created “safe spaces,” where they could try ideas without “fear of judgment.” In an interview about the creative process of the album Ally Brooke stated “The very exciting thing about going into this album is that we know the story we want to tell. We draw from our personal experiences. We’ve been in the studio, and we’ve had a lot of creative control. And through that, we’ve been able to co-write more than half of our album. It was an amazing process to have that creative freedom. It’s great to put in our voices and our words on this album.”
Dinah Jane also said speaking about working with the producers and how they respected there input saying, “We’re all in an environment where we can creatively open up to each other and not be afraid. There are no boundaries, and that comes through in the music. We’ve taken risks.” During the process the group worked in pairs: each pair stayed in a room with a specified producer and songwriter; in the room they could listen to the process of the songs and team brainstorm ideas for the lyrics. One talented songwriter who worked on this project was Perth, Western Australia’s own Leah Haywood of the production team Dreamlab and she told Billboard about the writing process “It’s not like they came in at the end and started riffing. We sat and wrote verses together, because they’re empowered women who want to be pushing the agenda.”
But as they release a self-titled third album, Fifth Harmony, Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Dinah Jane Hansen and Normani Kordei, look to revamp the group as strong, individuated personalities something that was never the groups biggest selling point. 5H fans may know that one member, Jauregui, who is a proud, Trump-denouncing bisexual, while another, Hansen, is a Mormon, but it’s not as if any of the members’ slightly differing images or even there different vocal styles have been diminished in Cabello’s departure.
“Angel” is the second single to come from the girls and it’s produced by Skrillex and Poo Bear. The single goes hard with the heavy bass and trap-leaning as the singers match the music so well vocally. In an interview with Billboard Dinah spoke to the single: We were in the studio with Poo Bear and Skrillex, and Poo Bear was just like, “Just so you know, this song is a little hard.” He played the record and at first I thought it was a ballad, and I was like, “Oh, he’s joking around,” and I come to find out when that drop came in, I was like, “Yo, this is a game-changer right here.” This is honestly the direction of where we wanted to go, because it kind of reflects on who we are and what our style is. Fifth Harmony is known for their edgy, poppy tones, but this is the type of edge we’ve been looking for, and have been wanting for a while now, and so the fact that he wrote this song specifically for us, it was perfect. Conceptually, I just love the way he wrote this: “Who said I was an angel?” Sometimes I also feel the same way, where I feel like my kindness is taken for granted or taken advantage of. Sometimes you just become ‘no angel no more, and you just break through and you just become this badass girl and you’re just standing up for yourself, singing your heart out and not giving an F about anything.
Today the 5H girls dropped there latest single “He Like That” which was written and produced by Ester Dean and DallasK. In her Billboard interview Dinah shed some light on the track: We were recording these other songs, and our A&R guy Chris referred the song and he was like, ‘Guys, you have to do this on the track,’ so he played it for us. The first time we heard it, we were like, “Woah, this is so different.” Honestly, I didn’t know where ‘Pumps and a Bump’ came from. I didn’t know what it meant, and then I told my mom about it and she was like, ‘Girl, you don’t know nothing about this. This is from my time — “Pumps and a Bump”!’ Ester Dean wrote the song as well, and it made the song even more special to me because I’m a huge fan of hers. She just flavored it up, and we couldn’t help but take the chance on it. Once we all tried out the song, we were like, ‘This is the one we’re going to ride with for this next album.’ It just shows — it’s different.
Fifth Harmony will no embark on a world tour, I for one will be at the concert when they embark on there Australian tour in October. But until then if you haven’t grabbed yourself a copy of this album please do, from the production to the writing it’s sheer genius, and definitely the best pop album I’ve heard this year. Don’t expect the 5H girls to slow down anytime soon, “Fifth Harmony” is available now.
“Fifth Harmony” tracklist and credits:
- Down (featuring Gucci Mane) (Joshua Coleman/DallasK)
- He Like That (Coleman/Ester Dean/Frank Brim/Ammo/Chris O’Ryan)
- Sauced Up (Harmony Samuels/JV/Varren Wade/Candace Samuels/Ally Brooke Hernandez/Lauren Jauregui)
- Make You Mad (Daniel James/Leah Haywood/Hernandez/Kordei/Dreamlab)
- Deliver (Jonathan Yip/Taylor Parks/Whitney Phillips/The Stereotypes/Tayla Parx)
- Lonely Night (Jason Evigan/Dinah Jane/Kordei/The Monsters and Strangerz)
- Don’t Say You Love Me (Nate Cyphert/Ian Kirkpatrick/The Electric)
- Angel (Sonny Moore/Jason Boyd/Skrillex/Poo Bear)
- Messy (James/Haywood/Hernandez/Kordei/Thomas Allen/Dreamlab)
- Bridges (Thomas Brown/Sebastian Kole/Hernandez/Jauregui/Anthony Jones)
*Image Source: billboard.com