Little Mix girls are back with their third single off their upcoming 2020 album. The new song is titled “Not a Pop Song,” and the song touches on some of the unrealistic expectations everyone has about everyone, especially celebrities.
Little Mix seems to deviate from their usual themes of love and parties and dancing for this new track. Instead, the girls sing about some topics that are more personal to them, and also seems to address the comments towards their music as being mainly childish.
Listen to “Not a Pop Song” by Little Mix
“Not a Pop Song” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the first verse, Jade Thirwall sings about the unrealistic expectations of everyone towards everyone. Everybody expects everybody to be perfect but when in reality nobody is anywhere close to ‘perfect.’ This is at its worse when it comes to celebrities. All the fans and even more so their haters, expect the celebs to be ‘picture perfect.’ This is why some celebrities go to extreme lengths to maintain their appearances to the best of their abilities.
There are claims that Little Mix’s music is criticized as ‘bubblegum pop’ referring to them being childish in nature. Flipping this around, Little Mix says this is the song that pops that bubblegum.
Even though stars fade away, their lives do not-a direct reference to the lives of celebrities who are also referred to as ‘stars.’
One of the biggest clap-backs on the song appears in the pre-chorus where Leigh-Anne sings; “I don’t do what Simon says.” This is a rather direct jab at Little Mix’s ex-boss Simon Cowell who is accredited for the group’s spotlight through their victory in X-Factor 2011 and eventual record deal sign with Simon’s record label Syco. The group left the label in 2018 and signed with RCA Records.
The rest of the pre-chorus suggests that Little Mix was a puppet of Simon’s strings and the bubblegum pop hits were also one of Simon’s influences. So, Little Mix seems to be breaking all ties and all their norms on this track.
‘Simon says‘ is also a reference to the children’s game where participants have to do what Simon (an appointed kid) says, and failing to do so means the participant is out of the game. So this is a clever use of puns by Little Mix.
All of the Little Mix girls harmonize their vocals for the chorus of “Not a Pop Song.”
In these lyrics, they sing about how this song is going to be the exception from their long list of ‘bubblegum pop’ songs. This song deviates from their usual themes of love, heartbreak, partying, dancing, drinks, and drugs.
However, this song is not a boring song at all. So, the girls invite fans to come to sing along with them.
In the second verse, both Jesy and Perrie weigh in on their thoughts on what it is like to be a puppet of a record label. It feels as if they are hamsters on a wheel, put to work in overdrive to come up with hit after another. This leaves little space for the artists to be themselves. They are forced to sing to the masses–to the charts.
‘Fake it till you make it’ seems to be the overaching theme of becoming a celebrity in most cases. ‘Faking’ here referring to being someone not authentic nor yourself.
Let us hear what you think about the song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.