Single Review

Fifth Harmony Premieres Debut Single, “Miss Movin’ On” (Single Review)

Fifth Harmony

At long last, Fifth Harmony has finally arrived.

Six months after working their way to third place on Season 2 of X Factor USA, the fabulous fivesome visited Saturday Night Online tonight to premiere their debut single, “Miss Movin’ On.”

To no one’s surprise in particular, it’s massive — a defiant, Top 40 power-pop empowerment anthem armed with huge vocals, soaring hooks and a fists-aloft, fuck-off chorus. “Miss Movin’ On” is essentially the love child of Demi Lovato‘s “Heart Attack” and Jordin Sparks‘ “Battlefield.”

There’s a lot to love here: That major earworm of a hook (“Call me, call me, call me…Miss Movin’ On!“). That stomping moment in the bridge that briefly conjures Queen‘s “We Will Rock You.” The line “It’s Independence Day!” And that final, surging chorus which will go down spectacularly in concert in an explosion of strobes and fireworks.

Is it too by the numbers, though? Well, maybe: The power-pop empowerment anthem was (and still is) done best by Kelly Clarkson (this is still no “Since U Been Gone”) and, to a much lesser degree, by Demi. (Speaking of Demi, the song’s quite transparently a Demi knock-off: “Shake it off like an Etch-A-Sketch”? So something Demi would sing.) As big as it is, “Miss Movin’ On” isn’t really the sound they should be going for — a little bit of that soulful R&B sound (see their cover of Shontelle‘s “Impossible” or Frank Ocean‘s “Thinkin Bout You”) or a little more of that electro-pop twinkle (see their cover of Ellie Goulding‘s “Anything Could Happen”) would make them stand out and shine even brighter.

Still, criticism is (sort of) irrelevant here, as “Miss Movin’ On” is objectively a smash: It’s impressively instant, and certainly one of the best debut singles by a reality TV-cultivated act in recent memory. They’re talented girls — both individually and together as #harmonizers — and this sure ain’t a bad way to begin a career.

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