This time, the collaboration bug does Little Mix no favours as Stormzy stops their motorbike from reaching full speed.
After adding the likes of Jason Derulo, Sean Paul, and Machine Gun Kelly to their tracks, Little Mix seems addicted to collaborations. However, their latest addition – that of Stormzy to ‘Power’ from their chart-topping Glory Days to be the album’s fourth single – does the song no justice with a 30-second rap interlude that has no place.
Let’s start with Little Mix themselves, though. I was originally a fan of ‘Power,’ which demands that your voice be heard and declares the power of individuality (“You make it rain, but I’ll make it, I’ll make it, I’ll make it shower / You should know, I’m the one who’s in control”). Their vocals are also strong, especially Perrie Edwards’ captivating high note near the close. Though the chorus is a little repetitive, it has a rousing effect. The background – including the roar of a motorbike – gives the song a unique atmosphere. To put another way, ‘Power’ makes for a very good single.
But, like many things, it lost quality with unnecessary additions – imagine squirting tomato ketchup over a roast. Stormzy’s new portion isn’t bad: on its own, the beat works well behind it and his words – even though they may seem vacuous, referring to female empowerment and perhaps the art of drag – are performed well. In fact, the constant drag-style references questioning the female-male power balance would have played perfectly to the Little Mix and RuPaul collaboration that has yet to materialise.
The main problem is that Stormzy’s section is simply plugged in whilst disrupting the flow of ‘Power,’ a track that simply didn’t need a rap interlude, especially when followed by a lost and disjointed 10-second attempt to restore normalcy. Furthermore, we lose the nice slowed-down section which, in the original version, then builds back up to the finale. Given how well they managed to encompass Sean Paul into ‘Hair,’ this result is indeed a shame.
‘Power’ is out now via Simco