Deep Cuts By The Dozen: Little Mix

 Deep Cuts By The Dozen: Little Mix

With Sweet Melody now their longest-running Top 10 single to date, and with an interesting new ~era~ as a trio ahead of them, it feels like a good time to make Little Mix the fourth subject of these weekly deep cut deep dives; looking at the 12 best non-singles from pop favourites.

I’ve already done The Saturdays, Demi Lovato and Kelly Clarkson, so catch up on them too if you so fancy.

These are, as ever, in no particular order…


Nothing Else Matters

It feels like all the best songs from Glory Days got their own superstar moments as official singles… except for the absolutely wonderful Nothing Else Matters. Arriving in the midst of global fuckery back in 2016 (remember how bleak we thought things were then?), it packs ONE HELL of a lighters-in-the-air chorus, and its rousing topline is accompanied by my favourite kind of gentle, midtempo synthpop. It could have at least been a Children In Need song or SOMETHING!


Wasabi

I keep thinking that this was a single, given how much of a thing it became on TikTok a year or so ago, but no – officially Wasabi is nothing more than an extremely popular LM5 album track. It’s one of the more delightfully weird songs in Little Mix’s back pocket, anchored around that low spoken refrain from Jade (who also co-wrote it) and some breathless, choreo-friendly instrumentation that reminds me a little of Britney/In The Zone-era Britney Spears. Should’ve been huge!


Boy

Completely a capella for the first minute or so, Boy was rightly one of the most buzzworthy songs when near-perfect second album Salute was unleashed back in 2013. This era generally drew a lot of comparisons to Destiny’s Child, and this watertight song in particular was probably the main driving force.


Love Drunk

Tucked away as a bonus track on DNA, the girls’ very first album, Love Drunk is just great fun: bursting with sunny energy, fun little lyrics (“promise I’ve been drinking only lemonade”), and an almighty sugar rush of a middle-8. Leigh-Anne’s rap is also a nice addition.


Happiness

With a touch of the No Tears Left To Crys in the middle-8 in particular, Happiness is maybe the most brilliant non-single on an album that’s generally stuffed with brilliant non-singles. Triumphant and optimistic, it’s truly the jewel in Confetti’s crown. Loooove Perrie’s ad-libs towards the end.


These Four Walls

I’ll be honest, as far as Ballads From Salute are concerned, I was a Towers lad for a good few years. But listening back now, the less-is-more approach on These Falls Walls does give it the slight edge. Jesy’s fragile vocals in the first half are devastating, especially given what we now know about her wellbeing at the time; and when the girls all come together towards the end, it’s magic.


Lightning

Sharing a lot of DNA with… well, DNA… Lightning is the most interesting song from the more straightforwardly poppy Get Weird era. In fact, the bizarre but brilliant sample of Carl Orff’s O Fortuna is one of few moments on the album that really justify its title. Lightning is dark, dramatic, kinda ridiculous… I adore it.


Forget You Not

Another absolute BELTER relegated to ‘bonus track’ status, Forget You Not is a delight reserved only for those who investigate the deluxe edition of LM5; a slick, bombastic little gem that sounds like Think About Us’s slightly less straight-faced little sister.


Nothing Feels Like You

I’ve aaaalways had a big space in my heart for this song, and I remain salty that it was never released as a single. One of the girls’ first collaborations with MNEK, it’s just a giddy, playful, effervescent piece of pop music that puts you in a good mood each and every time you hear it.


Madhouse

I’m not sure if a song that appears to make a fun analogy out of a mental health institution would land in quite the same way in 2021, but taken as it’s intended – a gothic, kinda cartoonish, Halloween Week On X Factor-style banger – Madhouse is a reaaaaally brilliant highlight from 2012’s DNA, and still sounds electric now. IMAGINE the TV performances if this was a single!!!!


Confetti

Internet lore suggests that Jesy was a big part of this song’s creation (she doesn’t officially have a writing credit), and I love that idea. As the title track on the girls’ best album since Salute, Confetti is a work of art – that tantalising drop in the chorus is the pop equivalent of edging, and all four members completely nail their solos. An earworm!


Competition

It was between Mr Loverboy and Competition for the final slot on the list. I went with the latter in the end, mainly because of how delicious the topline melodies are, how tight the harmonies are, and how personality-packed the lyrics are. That Salute only had a few singles remains a travesty – this is yet another one that would have had a 🔥 video.


Honourable mentions: Weird People, Going Nowhere, Mr Loverboy, If I Get My Way, Beep Beep, Breathe, A Mess (Happy 4 U), Motivate, Love Me Or Leave Me, A.D.I.D.A.S., Always Be Together, Not A Pop Song

Shaun Kitchener

http://www.shaunkitchener.com

Scriptwriter for the theatre and TV (currently Hollyoaks) and freelance entertainment ~reportage.