By Trent Vu
Anyone who knows me will have copped an earful about my love of the British girl group Little Mix. I love them. I’m obsessed with them. They’re everything to me. I’m thisclose to setting up a shrine to the girls in my bedroom. Jade, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jesy always serve serious vocals, intense choreo and some undeniable bops; that’s what I love about them.
However, my relationship with Little Mix wasn’t always so peachy. I actually kind of hated them. I used to work in a café that played Top 40 radio and Little Mix was definitely a regular feature. After the umpteenth play of Hair, Shout Out to My Ex and Secret Love Song, I had had j’enough. I was sick of it.
That was until I heard the religious-relevation-meets-pop-music-masterpiece song—to be named (I don’t want to spoil my list!)—that converted me to the Church of Little Mix. It changed my world and changed my opinion on the girls. The songs I previously couldn’t stand I was now stanning.
I will admit though that I don’t love every one of their singles. While I definitely am still a diehard fan, I’m critical enough to recognise that some of their songs are better than others. And while I patiently await for the release of their fifth studio album and subsist on their old music in the meantime, here is my comprehensive ranking of every Little Mix single so far!
18. Little Me
This midtempo inspirational ballad was everything I didn’t enjoy about Little Mix. Very teenybopper. I can imagine eleven-year-old girls crying alone in their bedrooms. I’m not that moved though. Sorry, girls!
17. Change Your Life
Pretty much just Little Me, but written in a major key. While the girls offer better vocals on this track, Leigh-Anne’s odd spoken parts and Perrie’s awful purple hair in the music video are not my fave moments in Little Mix history.
The second single from their debut album of the same name. This track definitely hasn’t aged well. The music video is tragic.
15. Word Up!
A fun Sport Relief single, but it won’t rock your world. I can’t really pinpoint exactly why, but the overall production of the song strikes me as really British. Eh.
14. How Ya Doin’? ft. Missy Elliott
Everything from the production on the song—the phone ring LOL—to the high contrast music video is 1800 TOO MUCH. But it’s still kind of a bop. Their acapella version definitely moved this up a few spots.
13. Secret Love Song ft. Jason Derulo
Little Mix’s Secret Love Song Pt. II is one of my favourite songs from them and I definitely cried at their concert when Jade—in her signature Geordie accent—said that they were dedicating their performance to all their LGBT+ fans.
However, I’m not particularly a big fan of their single version with Jason Derulo, whose heavily autotuned vocal distracts from the song’s lyrics. Also, my fave Jade gets, like, two lines in the whole thing—as opposed to the whole first verse and chorus in the album version—and I’m not here for that.
I’m always here for female empowerment anthems, and the dark vibe of this track is such a mood. However, they have some much better bops and I’ve gotta start making some tough decisions. When they perform this live as a medley with Down and Dirty—a severely underrated deep cut from Glory Days—I definitely live for it. On its own though, Salute is a bit middle-of-the-road.
11. Power ft. Stormzy
The album version of Power is iconic, even in spite of Jesy’s odd rap singing. The drop is EVERYTHING. But the single release with featured rapper Stormzy isn’t my fave, even though I absolutely love everything about the Glory Days album. But this is mainly because of Stormzy. Ew. When they performed this live at their concert—yes, I went to their concert and don’t you dare judge me for it—as the opening song to their set, I was living. It was straight up fire—not just because their vocals, looks and choreo were hot, but they literally had pyrotechnics.
10. Reggaeton Lento (Remix) with CNCO
This collab with Latin boy band CNCO marks the girls’ move into a more tropical sound, which would be followed by a triad of iconic bops—Is Your Love Enough?, If I Get My Way, Dear Love—on the Platinum Edition of Glory Days. The girls also serve some serious looks in the music video.
9. Love Me Like You
Drawing inspo from the Motown girl groups from the ‘50s and ‘60s, Little Mix throws it back with a little doowop. However, the song’s cheeky lyrics—which, in some places, are more than suggestive—help bring the track up-to-date. The music video for Love Me Like You is definitely one of my favourites too.
The single that helped Little Mix break out after their run on the X Factor U.K.; Little Mix probably wouldn’t be the success they are today had this song not done so well. Their live performances of this song starts off stripped back, allowing the girls to showcase their killer harmonies and wig-snatching vocals—especially Jade with her falsetto. Easy, breezy pop done well.
Although Wings was the song that put Little Mix on the map, their cover of Damien Rice’s Cannonball was technically their first single. It was their coronation song on the X Factor U.K., marking the start of an impressive body of work. This was an unexpected song choice for the girls; having performed uptempo pop tracks thus far, a folksy ballad was a totally different direction for them. Luckily, it worked and they took out the season! No joke, I tear up a little every time I hear Jade “Queen of Vocals” Thirlwall singing the first verse acapella.
6. No More Sad Songs ft. Machine Gun Kelly
A lot of people were not happy that No More Sad Songs was chosen as a single from Glory Days. While there were definitely better songs that could’ve been picked from that album, I wasn’t mad at all. The summery vibe of the song and the Coyote Ugly-inspired music video made me a happy camper, and I don’t even hate Machine Gun Kelly’s rap verse on the single release. It didn’t perform that well on the charts, but I still have a soft spot for this song.
5. Black Magic
This was one of the songs I heard one too many times on the radio at work and grew to resent. That was before I truly understood what pop royalty Little Mix are. Sure, Black Magic might be teenybopper trash, but that’s what I love about it. Plus their live performance of this song at the 2016 BRIT Awards is I.C.O.N.I.C.
4. Hair ft. Sean Paul
For anyone who’s having some boy trouble, this is the perfect song to blast and dance to in your room. As much as Sean Paul is awful on the track, Hair is still a fun bop. While many break up anthems are often dreary in nature, Hair doesn’t take itself too seriously; it just reminds you that you’ve gotta get that f*ckboy out your hair!
3. Shout Out to My Ex
Shout Out to My Ex is arguably the biggest single they’ve released to date, and for good reason too. The breakup anthem’s summery vibe, rousing chorus, relatable lyrics and powerhouse vocals all culminate in a pop masterpiece. And every time I watch their performance of this song at the 2017 BRIT Awards, my wig is sent flying up to the stratosphere.
One of the reasons I love Little Mix so much is that I’m always rooting for the underdogs. While they’ve found success in the U.K., they are definitely underappreciated outside of their homeland. Also underappreciated is their song Move. It’s every bit of a bop as the songs currently blowing up the charts and then some.
And to absolutely no one’s surprise, the number one spot on this list goes to Touch. This is the song that changed everything. They served pop masterpiece with production for days, a deliciously hook-tastic chorus and amazing choreo—both in the music video and their live performances. The song’s chorus never fails to get me in the mood for a boogie. And how can I be made about a song with lyrics literally about getting fingered? Touch only had moderate success on the charts—even in the U.K., they only got to the fourth spot (a hate crime if I ever saw one)—but it will always be a major success in my heart. I can’t wait for the girls to deliver more incredible bops with the release of their fifth album.