Fifth Harmony, ‘Angel’ | Track Review
New-look foursome Fifth Harmony amplify the naughtiness on “Angel,” the second single from their third, self-titled studio album.
Things changed for Fifth Harmony in 2017. Camila Cabello spread her wings, leaving the group to pursue a solo career. Happens often with boy- and girl groups. Nonetheless, Fifth Harmony continue on as a quartet, releasing their third studio album on August 25. After releasing single “Down” on June 2, the girls return with a second single, “Angel,” which arrived August 10. “Down” suffered from being a copycat single to the more suggestive, better rounded “Work.” “Angel” has more bite.
As aforementioned, “Down” felt too safe for Fifth Harmony. “Angel” takes the girls to edgier territory. Sure, f-bombs don’t make an artist, nor are they synonymous with maturity. But, the more hard-nosed, unapologetic sound of “Angel” plays into the hands of pop music these days. It’s an explicit climate where bluntness is the trend, and that’s exactly what the girls do. Backing up that explicitness is malicious sounding production work in a minor key. No, there’s no southern rap backdrop turning Fifth Angel into a trap-girl group, but the sound is only fuel for their young-adult fire.
As always, there are some cons. While “Angel” is catchy enough, it’s hard to envision it packs enough punch to stick. If “Work” from 7/27 or “Worth It” from Reflection represent the biggest successes of Fifth Harmony, is “Angel” on that level? The answer is no. No matter how devilish the persona is, the song feels like it’s missing something. Is it Camila Cabello? Perhaps, but personally, it seems to run deeper than that. One of the most difficult things to successfully accomplish within a group is personality. Even three albums in, Fifth Harmony as a group need more of it.
On the positive side of things, “Angel” is a step-up from “Down.” Still, “Angel” doesn’t feel like a killer gem. Yes, it has bite, solid vocals, and tight production work, but there’s still a sense of indistinctness. To reiterate, the girls still need a bit more personality, and arguably, stronger material. Good, not game changing. Still may not move the needle.