JLS - Evolution

Want to know what to expect from the new album?

Thu 18 Oct 2012

Want to know what to expect from the new album?

It's fair to say JLS have done quite well for themselves since taking part in The X Factor back in 2008. They've won two BRIT Awards, scored five No. 1 singles, launched their own clothing line, and are now about to release their fourth studio album, Evolution. 

What can fans expect from the album though? And is there a sign of evolution in its sound or is it just simply in the title?

Let's have a listen and find out...

1. Dessert

Clicking fingers, tight harmonies and short bursts of rap make up this pop-meets-hip hop album opener. The lyrics are a bit cheesy, but the song is actually really mature for JLS. If this was released by some cool American male artist, it's the kind of track you could easily imagine Nicki Minaj having a guest spot on. Slick and sexy. 

Favourite lyric: "Girl, you're looking like a menu. Everything on you looks good to me"

2. Hottest Girl In The World

You've probably all heard this one, haven't you? The lead single from the album does a good job of reflecting the entire LP. It's different to their previous material, there's a more mature approach, some Justin Timberlake-inspired moments and some catchy choruses that'll get you up on the dancefloor. Oh, and in this particular track there's some slick (and rapid) hand-clapping going on too. 

Favourite lyric: "I can be your toyfriend, I can be your lover"

3. Have Your Way

This one is all about having a good time and partying with the laydeez. That's what JLS do best, right? There's a slight Motown vibe going down in the chorus, the verses all sound a bit Justin Timberlake and the blasts of synth add a techno element too. You could say it's a melting pot of influences. Despite all the big sounds it draws on, this song fails to live up to expectations. We worry we might forget about this one in 10 minutes time.

Favourite lyric: "Girl you got goods like a corner store"

4. Hold Me Down

Now this is more like it, boys. A mid-tempo mature pop number, set against jingly-jangly piano chords like those in Emeli Sande's Next To Me. There's a pretty infectious and scatty drum beat, and an empowering message of living life to the max and ignoring the doubters. Move over haters, you can't hold these boys down. This one's a tune and a half. 

Favourite lyric: "Stuck on the darkside, reaching for daylight"

5. I Like It

'Your previous boyfriend was a loser and I think you're beautiful,' is the message the boys are going for here. JLS declare their love for a lady, with haunting synthesizer effects and a clean-cut fresh-sounding beat. It's kind of a ballad but also kind of upbeat. We'll settle on describing this one as a pop groove!

Favourite lyric: "I don't know why you don't wanna put that dress on"

6. All The Way

Anyone fancy a spot of trance? The backing track to this is very Calvin Harris and Example, with thumping drums and rousing Ibiza-esque synth. There's also a middle eight with a wailing female vocal in the background. We told you, it's dancey and trancey. We like it.

Favourite lyric: "Give into this energy, and give me your everything"

7. Give Me Life

Dirty, electro, vocoder-ridden pop at its best. Fierce beat, funky synth and lots of 'woah' bits to sing along to as well. 

Favourite lyric: "Intravenous love, feel it dripping through my veins"

8. Don't Know That

It's not upbeat and it's not a ballad. It's another R&B mid-tempo groove. Yay! Crashing percussion, a deep and dirty bassline, and smooth vocals, as the boys discuss their feelings for one lucky lady. Whatever happens in life, they say they'll always be drawn back to this female in question. We imagine there's a few girls out there hoping this one's about them. 

Favourite lyric: "You think I've found someone who's going to fill the void"

9. Troublemaker

Fast-paced pop verses, a falsetto bridge and an infectiously catchy repetitive chanting chorus of "You're a real troublemaker". All together now, sing along! This song is good. Very good. There's a guest spot from Chicago rapper Bebe O'Hare too.

Favourite lyric: "Who's that in the hot red dress, you're looking so sexy and oh so fresh"

10. Gotta Try It

With a soft and tender acapella opening, this is one smooth R&B groove which wouldn't sound amiss on an Usher album. There's some impressively high-pitched falsetto verses and a proper old school 90s power ballad-sounding chorus with a piano, electronic keyboard and an echoing snare drum.

Favourite lyric: "If I could see what life was like without you here by my side, I know that sh*t would hurt"

Overall, there's some real stand-out tracks that are hugely catchy on Evolution, with the vast majority being songs we'd love to listen to over and over. Most of the album is very cleverly put together, giving old school 90s R&B a modern upgrade for 2012. It's not all about partying and kissing ladies (although a lot of it is) and it's not all as cheesy as you might expect. Evolution is indeed an evolution of sorts for the boys. We've always known they were suave and sophisticated, but this has never been more evident than on this latest album. The boys are back and they're cooler, crisper and cleverer than ever before. We approve.

JLS - Hottest Girl In The World (Acoustic)

JLS - Hottest Girl In The World (Behind the scenes)