The girl group market in the U.S. as of late has been virtually nonexistent except for those sporadic Destiny’s Child reunions but the scene is a bit healthier over in the U.K. The Saturdays may have regressed into a pack of catalogue models singing increasingly bland jingles but relative new jack… er jills Little Mix have so far avoided the pitfalls of The Sats with their brand of harmony-centric girl power pop.
While the video for La Mix’s single “Move” suggests that the group is a family friendly blend of Destiny’s Child with a wee pinch of Pussycast Dolls, Neon Jungle is the badass result of what happens when you cast Danity Kane with four incarnations of Rihanna. The girls of Neo J aren’t exactly channeling her current booty, boobs ‘n’ blunts persona, but they certainly seem to lean more “We Found Love” rather than “Pon De Replay” on the RiRi bad gyal scale.
I initially discovered Neon Jungle last year when their debut single “Trouble” hit, but I immediately dismissed them as a bratty update of The Spice Girls and (admittedly unfairly) ignored their subsequent output. Current single “Louder” had me rethink my position as the ladies trade in the EDM club thump of their previous singles for a guitar driven mid-tempo ballad and a vocal turn that suggests that there might be more to these girls than funky styling choices. My warming up to “Louder” lead to me checking out previous singles “Braveheart” and “Welcome To The Jungle” to make sure I wasn’t missing anything… and it turns out that I was!
“Braveheart” finds the sassy minxes of La Jungle mixing Japanese, a Left Eye-esque rap and some Ri-style vocals with a Swedish House Mafia-sounding track featuring the obligatory (albeit killer) beat drop. While “Welcome To The Jungle” wasn’t as immediate for me, it really only took 2-3 spins before I co-signed on both the song and its accompanying “high fashion rave in somebody’s momma’s greenhouse” video. Having digested what they’ve released so far, I will say that the jury is still out on whether the members have strong distinct personalities á la TLC or if they’re simply pretty girls with the easy interchangeability of say, the Sugababes—- I’m digging the multiculti diversity of the group though!
Their debut album Welcome To The Jungle is scheduled to drop at the end of July, but there hasn’t been any confirmation of the girls getting a U.S. release yet. In the meantime, check out the output of Neon Jungle below so that you won’t have to rely on Beyoncé and Kelly singing on a Michelle Williams solo joint to satisfy your girl group cravings.
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