A View From The Top #56

by Ellie Turner

Sunday 30th October 2016

Little Mix have retained the top spot for the second week running, with their new single Shout Out to My Ex. The X Factor girl band are back doing what they do best: producing fun, bubbly pop that will undoubtedly be added to the Cheesy’s playlist soon enough.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I actually really love Little Mix. I think it’s great to see a girl band (one from the X Factor, no less) thriving in an industry that is known for its hostility towards women and girl groups in particular. Sure, their music isn’t anything ground-breaking or even original, and it certainly doesn’t provide us with philosophical, thought provoking lyrics, but it is undeniably the epitome of feel good pop. Shout Out to My Ex follows their classic formula of acapella inspired harmonies paired with a bubbly pop beat. The simple chorus, “Shout out to my ex, you’re really quite the best” is catchy, and the passionate vocals mean that you’ll find yourself singing along in no time (don’t lie, we’ve all been there). Srinandini talked last week about how the lyrics can maybe seem contradictory, writing that “At one point, the lines “Yeah yeah, that hurt me, I’ll admit” and “Forget that boy, I’m over it” actually follow one another”. However, I think this is one of the main aims of the song. Break up’s aren’t straightforward, and everyone goes through those moments of contemplating what they’ve been through in a relationship before getting to the sassy “I’m over it” stage. The contradicting lyrics highlight this, but leave us with an overriding sense of “fuck you” that anyone, whether they’re going through a break-up or not, can sing along to and appreciate.

Yes, it’s cheesy. Yes, it follows a formula seen in all of Little Mix’s other singles, and yes, it’s almost annoyingly repetitive. But, it is a lot of fun. And isn’t that what pop is all about?

Elsewhere on the charts are plenty of other pop gems. Bruno Mars’ new release, 24K Magic, is a 70s funk and disco inspired song which will make you dance almost as much as Uptown Funk did.  The beginning vocals are heavily synth-focused, a theme which follows throughout the rest of the track. It has elements inspired by the 70’s, the 80’s, R&B and pop – and it’s all done extremely well. It’s a shame to see it sitting at number eleven, as it definitely deserves a higher chart position. Calvin Harris’ latest track, My Way, brings a bit of tropical house to the middle of the charts. The lyrics are about a breakup (“You were the one thing in my way”), but the funky house beat and repetitive chorus make sure it isn’t at all sad. Instead of featuring big name celebrities, Harris actually sings on his own track this time – a move that has proven popular on Acceptable In The 80’s and Summer, and will surely be a success again. It’s a shame this track was released mid-September, as it would have been the perfect summer song.

It’s not all fun and games, though. James Arthur’s mind-numbingly boring Say You Won’t Let Go is still lurking in number two, with its dreary sounding guitar and bland vocals. Don’t even get me started on how I feel about the singer himself (Jonny summed it up pretty well a couple of weeks ago). Somehow there are also two Shawn Mendes songs in the charts this week, Treat You Better and Mercy.

Guess you can’t have everything.