I'm back. Analysis of @LittleMix's single #LMBreakUpSong , a thread: https://twitter.com/omoiluvleigh/status/1244680876434296832?s=20
Let's start with the low-key buzz around the lyrics, since that's what most of you noticed too. While you're here, go ahead and give the lyric video a stream: It's cute af and deserves all the recognition. Shoutout to @kayleemix @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
There's much chatter about the line "All the times they've screwed us over" among #Mixers. There's even already a @Genius lyric annotation. Props to annotator Amanda for being straight up. @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
Then there's pop analyst Bradley Stern @MuuMuse, who laid it out in a tongue-in-cheek way. Can't be the only media person who thought of their ex-label tho? Where are the rest of ya? Too scared to say it out loud? 👀 @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
Note that @LittleMix thanked Bradley Stern for this Break Up Song (BUS) review, so they def saw the reference to their ex-label (!!) You can read it here: https://twitter.com/MuuMuse/status/1244718609894641666?s=20 #LMBreakUpSong
At this point, BUS warrants a line by line analysis with the song's double meaning in mind. @LittleMix and @KamilleXX are *so* good at turning a bad situation into a magical pop song. They were NOT playing around this time either. #LMBreakUpSong #MoreThanWordsCanSay
Let's start with Miss Leigh-Anne Pinnock's opening verse @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
Remember, we're analyzing the lyrics in light of “All the times they screw us over”. Leigh starts that this (song) is not about a second chance. She’s not going back. This is also not a new romantic love song, hinting already that #LMBreakUpSong is more than what meets the eye.
Crying for someone is a common breakup theme, but when we understand “you” as their ex-label, it takes on a new meaning. Coming from Leigh, who has felt invisible due to racism, “hoping you could be the one to love me right” hits especially hard. #LMBreakUpSong
Next we have Jesy, signing the pre-chorus, a rarity among @LittleMix singles.
“I’ll be good all by myself” is especially difficult to hear from Jesy, after she had confessed on #OddOneOut the impact of cyber bullying on her self-image. For a long time, she was miserable in a girl group with women she loves, yet can’t help but envy. #LMBreakUpSong
Note that at this point, the girls have NOT sung a single line that is undeniably *exclusively* about romantic feelings. @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
“I’ll find a way to dance without you / in the middle of the crowd” is, on the surface, a reference to clubbing. In the context of @LittleMix’s career, however, it can also be about finding a new way (or label, *cough*) to get on stage & dance in front of mixers. #LMBreakUpSong
“I’ll forget all of the pain inside” is poignant coming from Jesy ... who has always expressed incredible love for the stage, and how seeing the fans ("in the middle of the crowd") singing back at them gives her so much joy 💗 #LMBreakUpSong
The girls are marvellous at break up songs. The sad Turn Your Face, the empowering SOTME, the messy FU. They say it is “just another break up song”, but ... is it? It’s cheeky that they change the pronouns to “THEY screwed US over” too. If you know, you know😉 #LMBreakUpSong
Here's the 1st time @LittleMix w/ Perrie in the lead sing about a "boy". We assume he is an ex-lover. In a business breakup, however, we can easily stretch this to mean their former boss and the male-dominated industry. Work breakups can be just as hard to forget #LMBreakUpSong
"I'm gonna dance / under the lights" The parallels between clubbing and being on stage. Yes, girls 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
Perrie delivers the second verse, which I personally think is low-key the most BRUTAL diss and my favorite 😍😈 @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
This one's iincheresting. "I ain't even gonna call ya, no, baby🎶" Remember Cowbell called the girls in the middle of the night, early in radio PR for LM5 era? Turns out this call was linked to their split w Psycho. Sorry, they don't need to be on calls anymore 👋🏼 #LMBreakUpSong
"The best thing I ever did was to let you go" no explanation needed @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
"Did you think you were the only one who could save me?" The SICKEST burn for a man who has the biggest ego and keeps claiming he created @LittleMix, when it was Kelly & Tulisa. It was patronizing of him to keep taking away LM's agency in the public's eye too. #LMBreakUpSong
I don't want to read toooo much into it, but "I ain't gonna take you back like I did before" can be interpreted as extending contracts. I'm not sure if @LittleMix ever had to do that, and perhaps we may never know, but this is one interpretation. #LMBreakUpSong
Skipping the repeated parts, let's get to a fan-favorite: The bridge with Miss Jade Thirlwall in the lead @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
The "quiet, thoughtful one" in @LittleMix and currently single, Jade best embodies the bridge's sentiment. The present, with its difficulties, is better than the past, and their persistence will take them into the future. Unsurprisingly, these are her fave lyrics. #LMBreakUpSong
Before moving on to analyzing the song structure and musical inspirations, here's the latest media review about #LMBreakUpSong that addresses the label break up and @LittleMix's difficulty crossing over to the US - an injustice, according to @migold: https://twitter.com/migold/status/1245347774322917376?s=19
Jade RTed w comment for US part. Notice how @LittleMix have thanked and posted 2 reviews that connected their label split to #LMBreakUpSong lyrics? I suspect they aren't outright saying it, (whole point of a subtle song), but is waiting for the media buzz. https://twitter.com/LittleMix/status/1245350870281326603?s=19
Meanwhile, Cowbell desperately releases press release after press release, riding on their coattails of success. Suffice to say, @LittleMix are not just digging up old beef. They are sticking to their modus operanti: Stay classy. Their music will speak for itself. #LMBreakUpSong
Ok, on to the musical influences on #LMBreakUpSong . We already know @LittleMix is inspired by big 1980s synthpop on this one ... Exactly what about it is so '80s though? Listen to it again on this Little Mix Diss Tracks playlist as we dig deep 😌😉 https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7nVGKPUn0w1QYf28Y1Tvik?si=dVmQz20OSVqtcUJPMMrzAw
If you’ve seen Stranger Things and the string of 80s inspired films/shows lately, synthpop must be now somewhat familiar to you, even if you weren’t alive back then. The latest music trend is an extension of this attempt to appeal to millennial (born 1981-1886) nostalgia.
Synthpop is primarily defined by replacing rock instruments with electro equipment, giving the music a robotic, synthetic texture. Tho often associated with musicians of limited skills, @LittleMix's big vocals in #LMBreakUpSong offset this image, breathing life into the track.
Synthpop is also associated with the Second British Invasion, when MTV popularized synthpop/new wave music from the early to mid 1980s. It is perhaps appropriate that UK artists @LittleMix and Dua are now spearheading its mainstream revival. #LMBreakUpSong
The use of synthesizers is not the only 80s reference in @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong . If you can read music notation, the amped up drum beat in the chorus goes something like this:
This drum beat in the chorus is exactly what you hear on the famous 1985 synthpop song Take On Me, by Norwegian band A-Ha. (Music notation for Take On Me drum cover credit to RedEyeSPR.) @LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
Take a listen to this Take On Me drum cover. The resemblance to the beat on the chorus of #LMBreakUpSong is clearest at the top, before the singing begins:
A common beat, perhaps. Another famous song that uses the same beat is Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together, but in a v different genre and a slower tempo. Considering the 80s synthpop inspiration, @LittleMix's A-Ha reference is likely intentional #LMBreakUpSong https://open.spotify.com/track/63xdwScd1Ai1GigAwQxE8y?si=GGaONummTGWXAMt5-Fp6Xw
It is perhaps appropriate for @LittleMix, who have been mocked for making "teen bop", to reference A-Ha, a band once dismissed for the same reason. Take On Me's clever mixing of synthpop w/ guitars and real drums has made it one of the most used pop songs today. #LMBreakUpSong
Just in case you didn't notice, @LittleMix also has (what sounds like) a real drum, which A-Ha did with Take On Me to soften the synthetic side of synthpop, and make the song accessible to a popular audience. #LMBreakUpSong
There are other minor references that I've yet to put my finger on, so that's for later, but I do want to mention (credit to @hippiejades) the doowop-y version Perrie sang on radio. Different era, but wouldn't it be nice to hear it done differently live? 😏🎶 #LMBreakUpSong
Let's move on to song structure and self-references. @LittleMix reference their own music often, e.g. the SOTME call back in the No More Sad Songs MV🥺 References to SOTME/Black Magic/Power in More Than Words - see thread here: https://twitter.com/omoiluvleigh/status/1063274640766832641?s=20 #LMBreakUpSong
#LMBreakUpSong is one of @LittleMix’s most upbeat break up song next to SOTME. Sonically, if SOTME gives off a sunny vibe, BUS is more of an urban sunset into neon lights vibe. Structurally though, BUS most strongly resembles a song of theirs hinted in the Sunday Vibes playlist:
Let's describe both Break Up Song and No More Sad Songs, with BUS commentary in [ ] :

- Background music enters quietly
- A quiet verse about the past, with a beat in the background perfect for a late night drive
[Leigh opens up BUS beautifully]

@LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
A more emotionally charged pre-chorus about the present that builds the tension, before it breaks into a very upbeat chorus
[Jesy's smokey vocals is well placed here in BUS]

@LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
- A distinct and buzzing chorus, where emotions run high and their vocals shimmer with joy
- Followed by a call-and-response post-chorus (for NMSS, only after 2nd verse)

@LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
- An introspective bridge led by Jade and Jesy that shifts the mood
[Unlike NMSS, however, BUS is more forward-minded and further along with moving on from the break up. A beautiful metaphor, really, of how far @LittleMix have come since the Glory Days era.]

- Big vocals transition back to into a chorus with all the ad libs.
[Though BUS repurposes the bridge as an outro to re-emphasize that "I don't wanna turn back time ... " is truly the message with which they want us to walk away 👋🏼]

@LittleMix #LMBreakUpSong
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