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DNA (album)

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DNA is the debut album by British girl group Little Mix. The album was released on 19 November 2012 via Syco. The group began work recording the album in December 2011 and concluded in September 2012. Throughout the recording process, Little Mix worked with several producers, including TMS, Future Cut, Steve Mac, Jarrad Rogers, Richard "Biff" Stannard, Ash Howes, Jon Levine, Xenomania, Fred Ball and Pegasus. The album was co-written by Little Mix and they stated that they were involved in the development of the album as much as possible. Sonically, the album is a mixture of pop and R&B records. The album's lyrical content explores empowerment, relationships and heartbreak. Songs on the album were also co-written by members of other girl groups, including Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud, Shaznay Lewis of All Saints and T-Boz of American girl group TLC.

DNA received mostly positive reviews from music critics, who complimented Little Mix. The album's lead single, "Wings", was released on 26 August 2012, reaching number one in UK and Ireland as well as charting in Australia, New Zealand, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Belgium, Canada and the USA. The second single, "DNA", was released on 11 November 2012, peaking at number 3 in the UK. Two post-album singles were released - "Change Your Life" was released as the third single in 3 February, while "How Ya Doin'?" was released as the fourth and final single on 17 April; both songs reached the top 20 in the UK.

The album has subsequently placed in the top 5 in eight countries, most notably the USA where it became the first debut album from a girl-group since 2006 to reach the top 5 - peaking at #4 on the Billboard Charts - as well as earning the highest Billboard chart position for a debut album by a British girl-group, breaking the record previously held by the Spice Girls' debut album "Spice".

Background

Shortly after Little Mix won the eighth series of The X Factor, both Gary Barlow and Biff Stannard were rumoured to be writing songs for the group's debut studio album. On 25 January 2012, the group made an appearance at the National Television Awards, and performed the En Vogue song "Don't Let Go (Love)". They also accompanied The X Factor judges Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos on stage to receive the Best Talent Show award won by the program. During an interview backstage, the group confirmed that they themselves had been writing material for their debut album, however had not yet received any input from Gary Barlow; and that plans to release their next single in March of that year were underway. It was announced, shortly after, that the release of the single had been delayed, and would now not be released until August.

On 30 May 2012, the group announced through a live stream via Twitcam that their new single would be called "Wings", and a short snippet would premiere on Channel 4 that week after being played at their filming session for Alan Carr: Chatty Man. The group performed the single for the first time at the T4 on the Beach concert on 1 July 2012. "Wings" received its official premiere on BBC Radio 1 on 2 July 2012. The single debuted at #1 on the UK Singles Chart on 2 September 2012. On 17 September, the album's artwork was unveiled via the group's official Facebook page, which also confirmed that the album's second single, "DNA", would premiere on radio on 1 October and will be officially released on 12 November, a week prior to the release of the album. The album's track listing was revealed on 28 September 2012 when it was posted on Amazon.co.uk, along with the pre-order link for the album. An exclusive version of the album available at HMV comes with a free CD single of "DNA".

Critical Response

Upon its release, "DNA" received generally positive reviews from music critics. Al Fox from BBC Music was positive stating, "With placid, feline production, tight harmonies and breezy beats, much of DNA ambles along the well-trodden path of the temperate demi-ballad. But it’s the ventures away from this that prove Little Mix function far better either side of mid-tempo." Matt Collar of AllMusic gave the album three and a half stars out of 5 saying, "The 2011 winners of Britain's The X Factor TV show, four-piece girl group Little Mix deliver a slick, high-energy mix of dance-oriented pop music with their debut full-length album, 2012's DNA...Little Mix make good on their promise of updating the '90s girl group sound of En Vogue and TLC." Rebecca Nicholson from The Guardian joined in on the praised, but somewhat also a backhanded comment, "Their debut album arrives a year after the fact, and establishes their identity nicely, which is to say that they're being positioned as a sort of updated Girls Aloud with enormous drums and plenty of very "now" early-90s R&B references...When off-kilter beats collide with impeccable harmonies and pleasingly daft lyrics (literally, in the case of Madhouse, with its "Men in white coats, don't take me back there" line), it sounds like pop as it should be...", awarding the album three out of five stars.

Commercial Performance

In the United Kingdom, as part of Amazon.com's Black Friday Deals Week, more than 500 customized versions of the album were sold out in just 13 seconds of release online. This feat smashed a previous record set by One Direction's debut album Up All Night, which was part of the same promotion last year. Customized versions of Up All Night sold out in just under one minute, nearly three times slower than that of Little Mix. John Boumphrey, Director of Music, Film and TV at Amazon said, "The girls are ahead in the Black Friday popularity stakes." In Ireland, the album entered the chart at number three, trailing to Unapologetic (Rihanna) and Take Me Home (One Direction). In the UK, it also placed in the same position behind the same two opponents. By the end of the year, the album sold 234,000 copies according to the Official Charts, placing 39th on the Top 40 biggest selling albums of the year. On, 19 July 2013, DNA was officially certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.

After its Europe-wide release, the album placed in the top 5 in Italy - following the promotion campaign - and Norway, in the top 10 in Czech Republic and Sweden, in the top 20 in Denmark and Spain, in the top 30 in France and Portugal, and in the top 50 in Finland, Belgium and the Netherlands. It was released in United States and Canada on 28 May. Within ten hours, it was at number two on the US and Canadian iTunes Charts. DNA has peaked in the top 10 of eight countries worldwide, including the UK, Australia and Italy. It has gone on to become the highest charting debut-week entry in the US from an album by a British girl group, whilst selling over 50,000 copies, as well as the first debut album from a British girl group in the US to debut in the top 5, after it placed 4th on the 5 June Billboard 200 album chart, behind Daft Punk, Alice in Chains and John Fogerty, beating the record previously held by the Spice Girls' debut album Spice which debuted at number 6 but later went on to number 1. On digital sales alone, "DNA" was second in the charts. "DNA" has sold 100,000 copies in the US and 10,305 copies in Canada.

Singles

  • On 30 May 2012, Little Mix confirmed the lead single and its title via Twitcam. Wings was released by Syco records on 26 August 2012 in the UK and Ireland. It was later released in New Zealand as well as Australia due to fan demands on 5 October 2012.
  • Little Mix revealed that DNA would serve as the second single from the album. The album's sophomore single was made available for digital download on iTunes on 11 November 2012.
  • Change Your Life has been released as the third single from the album on 3 February 2013.
  • How Ya Doin'? is the fourth single from the album. The single version features singer/rapper, Missy Elliott and premiered on UK radio station Capital FM on 27 March 2013. The single was originally scheduled for a digital release on 5 May 2013, but instead was released on 17 April 2013.
Little Mix WingsLittle Mix DNALittle-Mix-Change-Your-Life-2013-960x960Little mix how-ya-doin



Promotion

Little Mix began their first overseas promotional campaign for their debut album "DNA" on 28 October 2012 in Sydney. The group appeared on The X Factor, giving a live performance of their single Wings, which had already been released in Australia. The following morning, the group appeared on Sunrise. Their Australian promotional tour lasted a week and destinations included Sydney and Melbourne. The group have now planned for a nationwide tour in January to February 2013. In the United States, New Zealand, and the Philippines, there are official Little Mix Street teams who regularly hold rallies in their capital cities in order to promote the album as well as to persuade Little Mix to tour their country. The group did a social network campaign called Mixers Magnets, where fans worldwide were involved in games set by the girls for points for their country, with the girls performing in the Top 3 countries. The campaign was won by Italy, France and the USA. The girls made their subsequent performances in France and Italy for the Album's April release.

Little Mix performed the song for the first time at the T4 on the Beach concert on 1 July. They also performed on Friday Download on 13 July, and on the second episode of the second series of Red or Black?, which aired on 25 August. On 18 July, the group performed a live acoustic session of Wings on In:Demand. They also performed at G-A-Y Heaven on 18 August, which was celebrating their first birthday as a group. Little Mix also released an acoustic version of Wings in late August.

On 3 September, after they reached number one with Wings, the performed on the relaunch show of Daybreak. On 30 October and 31 October, the quartet performed on The X Factor and Sunrise respectively. The group performed DNA live on BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards 2012 along with their chart-topping "Wings". On 24 October 2012, the group performed an a cappella version of "DNA" during a live UStream video. Little Mix are also set to perform on The X Factor. On 16 November 2012, for BBC Children In Need, Little Mix performed the song 'Change Your Life'. Little Mix made an appearance on BBC Breakfast to promote their album on 21 November. As part of the promotion, Little Mix performed an unplugged version of DNA on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge as well as on ITV show Loose Women on 23 November 2012. During February 2013, the group held a Twitter and Facebook campaign called Mixers Magnets, in which worldwide fans took part in a variety of challenges in order to gain points for their country and if they finished in the Top 3, a national visit from the group. Italy, France, UK and USA's fans won the bid, so the group toured France and Italy as a result of the campaign before the album release in April.

Touring

The DNA Tour was launched in support of Little Mix's debut album 'DNA'. The tour was announced on 3 September after the girls got to number one with their debut single 'Wings'. A full list of dates were announced on 4 September. A fan Pre-sale was released on 6 September with general sale on the 8th. The tour started on 25 January and ended on 24 February. The tour consisted of dates in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The setlist included songs from the band's debut studio album: DNA as well as covers and medleys.

Track Listing

Standard Edition
# Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Wings" Little Mix, Tom Barnes, Ben Kohn, Iain James, Heidi Rojas, Erika Nuri, Michelle Lewis, Mischke Butler & Peter Kelleher TMS 3:39
2. "DNA" Little Mix, Barnes, Peter Kelleher, Kohn, James TMS 3:56
3. "Change Your Life" Little MixRichard "Biff"Tim Powell, Ash Howes Stannard, Powell, Howes 3:21
4. "Always Be Together" Ester Dean, Dapo Torimiro DAPO 3:26
5. "Stereo Soldier" James, Barnes, Kohn, Kelleher TMS 4:22
6. "Pretend It's OK" Little Mix, Luke Fitton, Brian Higgins, Miranda Cooper Xenomania 3:44
7. "Turn Your Face" Steve Mac, Priscilla Renea Mac 3:41
8. "We Are Who We Are" Mac, Wayne Hector, Ina Wroldsen Mac 3:03
9. "How Ya Doin'?" (featuring Missy Elliott) Little Mix, Lewis, Babalola, Lewis, Carter, Skinner, Volpeliere-Pierrot, Thorp, Brookhouse, Drummond, Missy Elliott Future Cut 3:12
10. "Red Planet(featuring T-Boz) Jon Levine, Autumn RoweT-Boz Levine 3:46
11. "Going Nowhere" Little Mix, Nicola Roberts, Fred Ball, James Ball 3:45
12. "Madhouse" Little Mix, James, Rufio Sandilands, Rocky Morris Pegasus 3:49
iTunes Store Standard Edition Bonus Track
# Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "We Are Young" Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, Jeffrey Bhasker Jarrad Rogers 5:12
Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks
# Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "Love Drunk" Paul Meehan, Tim Woodcock, Alessandro Benassi, Leigh-Anne Pinnock Jarrad Rogers 3:35
14. "Make You Believe" Barnes, Kelleher, Kohn, Philippe-Marc Anquetill, James TMS 3:41
15. "Case Closed" Little Mix, Robbie Lamond, Cathy Dennis, Darren Lewis, Iyiola Babalola Lamond, Future Cut 3:12
16. "DNA (unplugged)" Little Mix, Kohn, James, Kelleher, Barnes TMS 4:15

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