Singing quintet Fifth Harmony released its debut album, Reflection, on Tuesday. The ladies dreamt of putting out a full length album for two years, and realized on their journey that nothing with a major record label is guaranteed.
“First we did an EP. We were actually supposed to first do an album but then it turned in to an EP,” recalled singer Ally Brooke Hernandez during an interview with the group on “Ralphie Tonight.” “We just really wanted to get the actual album right and kind of find our sound and who we are more as artists.
The group formed during the second season of “The X-Factor” in the United States. Following a third place finish, show judges L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell partnered to sign the act to a deal. A total of 5 EPs, including two that featured acoustic versions of previously-released extended plays, were released up to this point.
The LP is buoyed by the recent success of “Sledgehammer,” the act’s highest charting song on pop radio to date. Adjectives like “awesome,” “friggen crazy,” and “awesome-balls” were all thrown out when I asked what it was like to hear their song on the radio. “Worth It,” an up-tempo, saxophone driven track that features a verse from rapper Kid Ink, will serve as the album’s second single.
Surprisingly, when asked to mention a track from the release that stuck out to each member of the group, the single was the last to come up. Other personal favorites of the ladies include “Like Mariah,” and “Everlasting Love.”
“We’ve been listening to it so much on our own,” admitted Lauren Jauregui. “This is the hard copy, but we have all of the songs in our head already so this is great.”
The liner notes for the album read like a “Who’s who” list in music. Label-mate Meghan Trainor co-wrote the radio-friendly “Sledgehammer” and “Suga Mama.” Ms. Carey herself along with Jermaine Dupri and J.R. Rotem are credited with the aforementioned “Like Mariah.” Other contributors include Dr. Luke, (Katy Perry) Stargate (Ne-Yo, Wiz Khalifa) and Priscilla Renea (Rihanna, Selena Gomez).
Fifth Harmony took part in a number of CD release signings in the Northeast before heading out to Los Angeles for more promo. The west coast trip will include a stop at Westwood One’s “Red Carpet Radio” at the Staples Center, ahead of this weekend’s 57th GRAMMY Awards. “Ralphie Tonight” will be live from Los Angeles starting Thursday.