Review: Fifth Harmony feat. Gucci Mane – ‘Down’

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Oh, just oh.

Fifth Harmony was one of the strongest girl bands in the world. Now, in Camila Cabello's absence, the group has lost its direction.

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After Camila Cabello left the group to pursue her own solo career, Fifth Harmony went down to four members, but they are not giving up. Yet, the Gucci Mane-featuring ‘Down,’ whilst pleasant enough, is forgettable and pales into insignificance even compared to their other work. If this represents what it is to come from the group’s third album, I am a little worried.

‘Down’ is a stereotypical pop song, comprising several meaningless verses with a chorus led by a drop followed by a repetitive beat and backing vocal. Essentially, it’s a less polished version of ‘Work From Home.’ The main problem is the lack of hook, unlike their previous work which deployed powerful variations to engage listeners with the song. Here, the beat sounds like those painful noises made by secondary school pupils on keyboards that they’re made to use in music lessons. The lyrics represent the talent of such children too: “There ain’t no kind of situation / Where I wouldn’t cross a line for you / FBI interrogation.” The chorus is then just the title repeated too many times with the occasional preface of “I’m gunna keep loving you.” Originality, eat your heart out.

The best part of the track is Mane’s verse. The drop here, though sounding artificial, is pleasant enough and his rap fulfils all the standard requirements for such an interjection. It’s nothing special, but it does rescue a song that otherwise has nothing to offer from the realm of the one-star review. Part of the problem is Cabello’s absence: her vocal was the most unique and allowed for better light-and-shade in the group’s harmonies. She was also the strongest vocalist and provided the high notes that gave their songs some oomph. Now, we are left with a meaningless void and a group that sounds like it has lost direction and focus. Fifth Harmony was once Little Mix‘s main rivals. Unless they have something better imminently up their sleeves, we’ll be needing some new competition.

‘Down’ is out now via Syco

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Philosopher and Historian and major pop-fan. You can find me listening to most pop in the charts (Beyoncé and Sia are most certainly goddesses), as well as some modern jazz and classical and enjoing the occasional trip to the theatre. I'm also interested in the repurcussions of the representation of sex in modern-day media! And I might be a fan of the X Factor. Sorry, I can't help it...

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