Little Mix, "Salute" (Columbia)
The sophomore album from British group-in-a-box Little Mix is a pleasing blend of soulful pop. "Salute" picks up for this generation where the Spice Girls, and later the Pussycat Dolls, left off with the all-female group's spunky girl-power sound.
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Little Mix is the concoction of music movers behind the television show, "The X Factor," and it was the first group to win the U.K. version of the show. But it's hard to hate on hustle when it comes to pop music, a genre that is long on hustle and bluster.
On "Salute" -- Little Mix's follow-up to last year's "DNA" -- the foursome is a solid mix of coy and cool on body-moving tracks like "About the Boy" and "Little Me." The latter track is a well-intentioned take on a discussion between a woman and her younger self, urging strength and persistence.
If Little Mix is about anything, pop bluster aside, it's pop perseverance.