Album Review: Little Mix - Confetti

Album Review: Little Mix - Confetti | Random J Pop

Confetti is the sixth studio album from what is (believe it or not) one of the world’s most successful girl groups, who like Girls Aloud before them, have managed to achieve a great milestones for a group born out of a reality TV show, where so many other groups and winners have faltered. And they managed to finish recording the album AND release it in the midst of a pandemic. So yes bitch. Let it rain down confetti on these girls. It is deserved.

But for all that Little Mix have achieved and how relevant they’ve stayed since the beginning, their sound has never hooked me. I’ve always liked the group itself more than the music. And whilst the singles “Break Up Song” and “Sweet Melody” did have me lean in more to Little Mix’s music than I have before, the album doesn’t deliver on the potential shown in either of these songs, and it’s unfortunate.

Album Review: Little Mix - Confetti | Random J Pop

Little Mix seldom do straight-up pop records these days, often leaning towards something that’s a little bit R&B or Tropipop (i.e “Touch”). But pop works so well for them. To this day, “Black Magic” is still one of the few Little Mix songs that I wholeheartedly think is a great song, even if I do think it’s messy that the writers of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” aren't credited. “Break Up Song” released to pretty much silence, but it’s such a good song. It’s 80s, it’s camp, it’s catchy. It could get lost in the pop mix, especially given that 80s synth pop is still very much a go-to sound, but Little Mix’s gambit is their voices. Little Mix’s voices together sound so big and cut right through the music in a way that not a lot of pop singers' voices these days do. It’s a shame that “Break Up Song” didn’t set a tone for the whole album, but alas. That’s a Little Mix album for you.

Little Mix albums very rarely commit to an idea or a musical theme. Not that this is a requirement for an album to sound good. But for a group such as Little Mix, whose sound has never really been concentrated or refined in five albums, the sixth time should have been the charm. Little Mix’s management and A&R should’ve sat the girls down and said ‘Okay. We need to take what we’ve done over the past 9 years and create an album which truly defines a Little Mix sound’ and Confetti doesn’t do that. It’s just more of the same thing that Little Mix has always done, which is getting really tiresome for a group who could do so much better.

I’ll say this here and now. Confetti isn’t a bad album. It truly isn’t. But I feel so strongly that Little Mix should be past giving albums like this, especially when it’s the same album they’ve already given us three times already. Confetti will only be remembered as the album that had “Sweet Melody”. This isn’t a bad thing for an album to be remembered for; given that “Sweet Melody” is a great song, and one of few instances here where something really hits and lands as it should.

Little Mix have personality in SPADES which always comes through in their music. And it’s not just a thing with one or two members of the group, but each of them. And every member can sing. So Little Mix plays a huge factor into what makes the songs work. But another key component is songwriting. Some of Little Mix’s songs have some truly great lyrics and stories being told through them. There have been many a song over time comparing being blinded by love to being seduced by music, so props to songwriters Brian A. Garcia, Morten Ristorp, Robin Oliver Frid, Tayla Parx and MNEK for managing to write yet another that manages to stand out and feature some zinger lines. He would lie, he would cheat, over syncopated beats is a good ‘un. The use of the word ‘syncopated’ would get a nod of approval from Mariah-Webster Carey. “A Mess (Happy 4 U)” is basically a bubbly pop version of Adele’s “Someone Like You”. A case of being a broken-hearted mess and not being over somebody who is already over you, but wishing them the best out of the love you have for them and yourself. And “Happiness” is a really sweet song about finding yourself in the midst of loss and heartbreak. Each of these songs could easily be flipped into ballads given the subject matters, but it’s far more on-brand for Little Mix to make them bops. When Little Mix get it right, they really get it right. But Confetti unfortunately has more misses than hits on the target, and nothing else on the album really matches up to the quality of the aforementioned.

Album Review: Little Mix - Confetti | Random J Pop

Little Mix are one of the few UK girl groups in existence where every member is able to actually sing, which is refreshing. BUT. One of my biggest gripes with girl groups who can sing or have shown they can at least sound good together, is girl groups who don’t give me much in the way of vocal arrangements and harmonies. There are so few harmonic moments on this album, which is criminal given that not only can each of these girls sing, but they’ve given live and acoustic performances in the past where they’ve knocked harmonies out of the park. So many songs on this album feature choruses which are just all four members singing loudly in the same key, and I’m like ‘NOOOOOOOO’. It’s such a waste. I really wish Little Mix had worked with a vocal producer who really pushed them to play around with their harmonies more, as it would have not only sounded great, but if done playfully and in the right ways, it could have really elevated certain songs.

Album Review: Little Mix - Confetti | Random J Pop

Confetti doesn’t feature a single song that I could sit here and say is garbage. Not a single one. But as a whole Confetti just doesn’t have much of a spark. After 10 years Little Mix still don’t have a sound that feels wholly definable to a point where I can hear their music on the radio and just know ‘Oh, THAT’s a Little Mix song’. This is weird to me, considering that Little Mix have worked with some of the same writers and producers for every single one of their albums; TMS, Camille Purcell and MNEK. Everybody seems to be trying to drive for what would make a hit song, or what sounds cool to them. But nobody seems to be swinging to give Little Mix a sound that will leave a legacy in the same way that the likes of the Spice Girls, All Saints and Sugababes managed to with far fewer releases and in less time.

Confetti swings from one song to next, each sounding like a song somebody else has done at some point. There are songs which sound like leftovers from Ariana Grande’s Positions, Katy Perry B-sides, Sia wannabe’s, and these are just the not-so-great songs. But even the good songs borrow. “Happiness” is a great song. But there’s no escaping the fact that it is a slightly reworked version of Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry”. It’s a better song at least.

Confetti runs the gamut of sounds which are popular on the radio, but so little of it truly sticks. Listening to this album is like listening to a Now! That’s What I Call Music compilation, and I don’t mean that in a good way. There are so few moments on this album that really wow you. There are times when it seems like a song is on the cusp, but then it doesn’t go anywhere. And this isn’t helped by the top heavy sequencing, which causes the album to lose all steam by track 5. And then we get a ballad thrown in out of nowhere unnecessarily. I don’t know who said this album needed some slow, dreary ass piano ballad, but we get one with “My Love Won’t Let You Down” which actually does let the album down. Confetti feels long to listen to despite the standard edition only being 13 tracks long. Making it 10 would’ve helped, but not by much, because you’re still left with 10 tracks making up an album which doesn’t hit you square enough between the eyes in the ways that it thinks it does, and the way you desperately want it to. There is too much talent within the group and amongst the writers and producers involved in this album for the whole thing to sound this tepid.

Album Review: Little Mix - Confetti | Random J Pop

Little Mix are a talented group. They are the full package in ways that I don’t think many UK girl groups in the past have ever been. But there’s something about their sound that just doesn’t always click with me.

Little Mix has always come across to me like a UK girl group that wants to be a US girl group, and this is largely because of their sound. Confetti at the very least does a better job of utilising an amazing group of homegrown UK talent to shape this album, but so much of it seems geared towards just wanting a US hit. I get why. Every girl group at some point lobbied for a song that could play on US radio and fit in. But I feel this pursuit robs Little Mix’s music of being as unique as it could be. Especially at a time in pop when they are the only UK girl group. So it’s a shame that they sound so anybody-ish, then again they can afford to be and get away with it. Because which other girl group in the UK is there that’s doing anything?


UK artists trying to do US sounds has always been a slippery slope, because the fact of the matter is that no matter how talented UK producers are, they can’t match that US sound. And Little Mix shouldn’t be trying to chase it in the first place. What would be so much more interesting is if the producers on this album said ‘How about we make a UK equivalent of this sound’ or ‘How can we take this US sound, but localise it into something which still has a global appeal’. Little Mix and their team should be at a point where they are really starting to think about how Little Mix can set a precedent musically and shift pop; not just do what everybody else is doing if they can’t consistently do it better. If I want a song like “Confetti”, I’ll just listen to “7 Rings” or some shit from Ariana Grande. I can’t stand the song, but it’s honestly better than “Confetti”. And I know I’ve mentioned Ariana a bunch of times, but it’s because so many of the songs on this album remind me of things she’s done across her last 3 albums. If Little Mix want that sound so bad, I don’t know why they don’t just work with Max Martin and Ilya.

Confetti has some good songs, but it’s not indicative of where Little Mix should be, both as a group as talented as they are and after a near decade long career. There isn’t enough growth here from their past albums. It’s just more of the same. With Little Mix now down to being a three-piece, it’d be great if they took the time to have that sit down I mentioned and really reevaluate their sound, and really think about the musical legacy they want to leave. Because just giving us albums like this won’t be enough.

Confetti is fine. But Little Mix are too talented to be releasing albums after all this time which are just fine.


■ Break Up Song
■ Sweet Melody
■ Happiness 🏆
■ A Mess (Happy 4 U)