Fifth Harmony, ‘Down’ | Track Review
New-look Fifth Harmony delivers okay new single with ‘Down,’ the promo 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. Several months in advance of the album, the girls enlisted Gucci Mane for promo single, “Down.” “Down was released as a single on June 2.
First the pros. “Down” has a familiar sound, at least in regards to the urban-pop sensibilities of the girl group. The production work is slick, anchored by hard-hitting drum programming and a variety of synths. Vocally, the girls don’t push too much, opting for sexiness, swagger, and gimmicks. Naturally, the chorus is the biggest selling point. It’s not profound, but repetitive, simple, and catchy.
“Long as you’re holding me down, down, down / I’m gon’ keep lovin’ you down, down, down.”
A guest appearance by a rapper is cliché, but Gucci Mane offers a respectable change of pace, at least in regards to the flow of the song. Does he say anything notable? Not particularly, but remember vibe is everything. He also gets a cool change of backdrop, amplifying his rhymes.
With the pros come the cons. “Down” sounds too similar to “Work,” period. The hook is similarly repetitive. The concept, likewise, is in the same vein. There’s an argument that the innuendo isn’t as pronounced, but still, it’s obvious where the girls are going. Furthermore, Fifth Harmony trades Ty Dolla $ign for Gucci Mane. Arguably, it’s the copycat nature of the song that hinders it.
All in all, “Down” is decent, but not great. “Down” is by no means classic, and suffers from being less memorable than “Work,” which it’s styled after. The question for Fifth Harmony is, how much longer can they have a viable career with such songs like this one?