Pop group Fifth Harmony released their third studio album, a self-titled one, on Aug. 25. It's the ladies first record as a quartet without ex-member Camila Cabello, who left back in December. With the four powerhouses left, this latest incarnation of 5H finds more room to soar vocally across the 10 tracks. Members Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Dinah Jane and Normani Kordei hold it down with a new batch bangers and ballads.
Before Cabello left, the five ladies had to share the microphone and vocal adlibs, but now as a four-piece, Fifth Harmony takes advantage of the extra airtime. On this album, they explore more R&B sounds and dig deep in the vocals department. With "Deliver," the members do just that and come through with soulful, sassy performances. Atop piano and trap-lite beats, they confidently belt, "Yeah, my baby knows that I deliver / That's exactly I'm gon' do." 5H delivers a knockout track. "Lonely Night" is another R&B bop where the ladies cut loose. The quartet shifts from savage to sweet in setting the relationship ground rules. "If you got another chick on the side, bye bye," Fifth Harmony sings. Each member shines while breaking it down.
Hip-hop beats also permeate Fifth Harmony's new sound and "Sauced Up" is a booming standout. The ladies drip swagger as they go off and get the party started. "We can get sauced up / Forever young / We'll never get old," the members sing. "Sauced" spreads on like a feel good heavy-hitter. The bass bumps on "Angel," an atmospheric and intoxicating ode to 5H's bad girl side. "Who said I was an angel?" Jauregui, Brooke, Jane and Kordei ask on the slow-burn heartbreaker. The sleek and sexy "Make You Mad" blends that hip-hop flavor with the tropical beats of the moment. All the ladies promise a night to remember, guaranteeing, "I'm gonna make sure I'm the best you ever had." Fifth Harmony means business on the bedroom banger.
More tropical production kicks in on lead single "Down," Fifth Harmony's glowing bop dedicated to putting it down. It's one of the most processed songs with the ladies sometimes indistinguishable from each other, but it's also one of the most hypnotic. Rapper Gucci Mane briefly breaks the spell on his guest verse before the members regain control with the summery club cut. 5H really soars on the mid-tempo ballads, especially the uplifting "Bridges," a beautiful tune calling for compromise in relationships. They go in for the feels on the emotional "Don't Say You Love Me." Empty words move Fifth Harmony to plea for something more.
Some of the poppier moments are pure fluff like the sleepy "Messy" and "He Like That," another track that's too mellow for its own good. Aside from that, Jauregui, Brooke, Jane and Kordei carry on quite well on Fifth Harmony, the group's most mature album yet filled with vocals and attitude for days. The band name might be a bit awkward now, but the ladies are still killing it as a quartet.