Little Mix’s first single is everything I’ve wanted it to be and more, even when I didn’t know what I wanted at all. I knew I wanted it to sound new and I wanted it to be brilliant, a worthy first single that would hopefully start the beginning of a long career for the most exciting X Factor winner ever. And ‘Wings’ is exactly all of that. It starts with trumpets playing 5 notes that instantly click, just like the guitar riff did at the beginning of ‘Sound Of The Underground’ or Mel B’s laugh did for ‘Wannabe’. From there it goes into a chanted version of the first chorus (that’s right, first, there is actually two chorus!!) with some kick and claps supporting it, and from then on the song goes up and there’s no moment that’s worse or less exciting than the previous one until the very end.
The lyrics are quirky and full of Girl Power, which is so refreshing. And an analogy with the Spice Girls and Girls Aloud is not that far off. ‘Wannabe’, THE song about female empowerment and solidarity, came out in an era where boy bands were predominant in the music scene and girl bands were told they would never work. That girl band that ‘would never work’ became a 75 million album global phenomenon. Girls Aloud were sort of the underdogs when they released ‘Sound Of The Underground’ against One True Voice (a boy band) and their soppy Bee Gees cover, and yet they won the Number 1, and the record contract, and eventually became the most solid girl band in the UK. Admittedly, there’s not much Little Mix need to fight for as female artists these days in a world where Adele, Britney, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Rihanna are the biggest pop artists around, but it’s ultimately commendable that ‘Wings’ doesn’t really sound like anything else that’s on the Top 20 right now, doesn’t want to be held and doesn’t want the boy to love her along the sweet tones of generic dance pop. ‘Wings’ wants to fly on its own, and it does.
And just like that, Little Mix have won.
Fave lyric: I’m firing up on that runway/ I know we’re gonna get there some day/ but we don’t need no ready, steady, go, no