Let me preface this piece by saying that I have been a Fifth Harmony fan since they were LYLAS singing “Impossible” on The X Factor. I was lucky enough to meet them at an MTV event before the VMAs and they couldn’t have been sweeter. This past Thursday, I attended the launch of Nick Radio to see the girls perform and got to speak with Camila for a short moment as she took a pee break. Ally even waved from the stage. I could totally be making that up since I was overwhelmed with the fangirl moment having just seen them perform, but whatever — I think it happened!
I would describe the event as amazing (there’s plenty of pictures below) and their performance as senSLAYtional. Admittedly, I left before Cody Simpson performed, but that was just because of a previous engagement. But yes, I have now seen the girls perform live three times. Each performance was better than the last – vocally and choreographically – and that is evident in all their televised appearances too, so take my review of their EP with a grain of salt (or not, because it’s actually genuinely really freaking good).
“Calling all my girls, there’s an SOS. Tonight, let’s have some fun!” And with that, Fifth Harmony sums it all up in the opening lyric of the first track of their debut EP, Better Together (iTunes). “Don’t Wanna Dance Alone” is fun, girl-pop delight and perfect way to begin the introduction to America’s new girl-group sensation. It’s a little Whitney Houston – am I right, ladies (and gays)? Their first single, “Miss Movin’ On,” follows with a Demi Lovato level huge power anthem. If anything, these ladies are movin’ on to bigger and… “Better Together,” the title track and lighter, fun bop.
The EP’s only slow moment comes with “Who Are You,” which while slightly dreary, truly shows off each lady’s incredible vocal talents. While it’s easy to focus on some of the girls more than others, they all bring serious chops to the table. They aren’t just some talent show group. They’re serious business.
The final two tracks really drive “the pitch” home. “Leave My Heart Out Of This” is an unrelenting, huge anthem – once again bringing serious Demi business (and I mean that with great compliment). We end on a fun, girly slumber party as “Me & My Girls” reminds us of their youth. We’re still dealing with some young ladies who have so much room to grow and mature. That’s right – they can only get better (unless they don’t, but let’s not even go there). Some of the lyrics are a little suspect and not age-appropriate and I do hope their team makes note of that.
If you’re lucky enough to have purchased the EP from Target, you have a seventh track, “One Wish,” that is once again sassy girly pop goodness. I can see why it was a bonus track, but honestly, there isn’t a bad moment on this record.
Ultimately, Fifth Harmony’s debut EP, Better Together, is a solid six-track collection of girly pop delights. Normani, Lauren, Camila, Ally and Dinah have shown you what they can do after being thrown together on The X Factor. It is already the highest-charting effort from an X Factor USA contestant on the Billboard 200 with decent sales for an EP almost only found online.
Now it’s time for them to get to work on their first full-length album and grow their fan base touring with Demi, Little Mix and Cher Lloyd (again). I think they can do it. I bet you do too – especially if you’ve seen any of their incredible YouTube covers (“Red” is my personal favorite, but they’re all exceptional). I won’t make the One Direction connection, but Simon Cowell did put them together and he also did that with One Direction and Fifth Harmony for President.
They have a lot of room to grow, but this is a truly solid start.
Fifth Harmony’s Better Together EP is now available on iTunes. Acoustic, Spanish, Spanish acoustic, and remix versions are due out soon.
PHOTOS | ROGER KISBY FOR IHEARTRADIO