The song Black Magic by Little Mix promises so much: how to make your fella notice you more, how to get him on side and how to make him stay. “All the girls on the block knocking at my door,” sing the band, “Wanna know what it is make the boys want more.” This all female pop quartet is offering the answer to true love – the Holy Grail of relationships. When it comes to finding Mr Right Little Mix know exactly what to do, they possess the secret to finding true love. It can’t get much better than that right? Well, it doesn’t, because Little Mix’s sneaky satire reveals that hopeless romantics are hopeless for a reason and the chorus tells us exactly why.
For those seeking love Little Mix offer a “secret potion” and “a spell that can’t be broken”. All you need is one drop and a single sip will ensure the drinker falls madly in love with you. And the name of this recipe, well, it’s called Black Magic.
That’s right, magic. It turns out that magic is the only way to produce true love. Of course, Little Mix, being the great 21st satirist’s that they are, know magic doesn’t exist which means that the logical conclusion of this song is that true love doesn’t exist either. It’s a bleak take on romance and relationships as Little Mix deny the very existence of that thing so many people crave and seek. All those adverts, posters and films about romance and love are rendered terrible lies now that Little Mix have exposed the truth – love makes about as much sense as reading tea leaves.
We live in dark times – climate change, a Conservative government, Mission Impossible 5 – and now Little Mix have added yet another cloud to the storm. Their nihilism jars with the catchy nature of the song but the bitter truth is there in the words – true love is nothing but a fantasy. To quote a fellow cultural commentator, “this is the moment when Little Mix looked into the void and the void looked back.”