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little mix, dna (Syco)

Just as the ratings crown is slipping from The X Factor's coiffured head, along comes the most blandly generic, boardroom-concocted release from the combined Reality TV stables.

This debut album by Little Mix is tangible proof of how far pop has fallen in the decade since Girls Aloud formed on Popstars: The Rivals.

Individually and collectively, each song is sung without any sense of distinguishable personality. Every line in the lyrics and every prick of the tried-and-tested hooks is utterly obvious, clichéd, wrung dry of anything but the most fake of commercialised emotions.

Going Nowhere achieves some sort of a pop first by rhyming "X-Box thing" with "diamond ring", while Pretend It's Ok features singing that's almost asthmatic in its heavy breathing between every (gasp) single (pant) over-emoted (huff) word. Turn Your Face has the distinction of being the worst song I've heard this year - a melodramatic piano ballad that sounds like it's from a spoof movie about melodramatic piano ballads.

Only the disco mash-up of How Ya Doin'? and bouts of rapping suggest it is not an entirely wasted exercise. Little Mix will, of course, be massive.

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