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Evolution is the fourth and final studio album by British boy band JLS. The album was released on 5 November 2012 through RCA Records. The album marks a new change in direction for the band, described as "a throwback to the '90s new jack swing/R&B-influenced music".[2] The album was preceded by the single "Hottest Girl in the World", released on 21 October 2012.

Studio album by
Released5 November 2012 (2012-11-05)
GenreR&B, new jack swing
ProducerJim Beanz,[1] TMS, Midi Mafia, Jarrad Rogers, James Reynolds, Bangladesh,[2] Darkchild[2]
JLS chronology
Goodbye – The Greatest Hits
Singles from Evolution
  1. "Hottest Girl in the World"
    Released: 21 October 2012
  2. "Hold Me Down"
    Released: 17 December 2012


In March 2012, Oritsé Williams revealed that JLS had decided to work with top American producers for their fourth record, so they can give their fans a "great album". He claimed that "We're furthering our sound in that way."[3] "We've been in the studio with people like Darkchild, and we've kind of gone back to new jack swing, and R&B on the album." He also revealed that they were working with "Mr. Bangladesh, who is known for his hip hop. We wanted to write with new people. We've got to give the fans a great album and we try to be the best we can." In April 2012, the band revealed that they were "going to Scandinavia and America over the next few weeks to put pen to paper."[4] They also announced that the goal with the album was "to take us international." In the same month, they discussed about plans to approach Canadian rapper Drake to feature on the lead single. Marvin Humes told the Daily Star: "We'd love to do a record with Drake and we're going to approach him to feature on our next single as it has to be our best yet."[5]

In August 2012, the group revealed that the album would be titled Evolution, and would be released on 5 November 2012.[6] Humes later stated the thinking behind the title was based on the fact that the group "wanted to come back with something that was different and that would give people something to talk about".[7] On 3 September 2012, they announced that "Hottest Girl in the World" would serve as the lead single from the album, with a release date of 21 October 2012.[8] On 21 August, the band began filming a music video for "Hottest Girl in the World".[9][10] On the direction of the album. Aston Merrygold said; "We didn't go by any kind of guidelines or anything like that, we just made what felt right and we're really excited about it."[11] On 11 September, the band unveiled the artwork for the album.[12] The band also confirmed that a deluxe version of the album will be available, that will feature bonus and previously unreleased tracks.[13] On 6 September, "Hottest Girl in the World" premiered on BBC Radio 1.[14] The album features collaborations with both Bebe O'Hare and Tiffany Foxx, two independent artists who are well known on the underground circuit in the United States. Humes said of Tiffany Foxx's appearance: "Tiffany helped us with a spectacular take of Dessert. She cracked the vocals. We would love to see the version with her released as a single." In promotion of the album, the band performed "Hottest Girl in the World" on The X Factor on 21 October 2012, and premiered "Hold Me Down" on the edition of The Xtra Factor that followed. They also performed the track on Alan Carr: Chatty Man on 26 October 2012.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [17]
Daily Express     [19]
Digital Spy     [20]
Flavour MagazinePositive[21]
The Guardian     [22]
The Independent     [23]
Maximum POP!Positive[25]
musicOMH     [26]
Sugarscape          [27]

Upon release, Evolution received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. At review aggregate site Metacritic, it has an average score of 54 out of 100, based on five reviews, indicating "mixed to average" reviews.[15] Shaun Kitchener of AMAZEPOP gave it a positive review, comparing it favourably to JLS's previous album Jukebox (2011). He said: " makes the group feel fresh again, like they're back at the forefront of the British boyband movement. They’re sensibly taking a step away from the half-cooked urbanised electro-pop that filled their last couple of albums; leaving the guitar-driven bubblegum choruses to One Direction and letting The Wanted get on with their own brand of club-ready ladpop." "Gotta Try It", "Hold Me Down" and "Give Me Life" were named the best tracks, with the latter being compared to Chris Brown.[18] Kate Lucey of Sugarscape believed that JLS had "...upped their game for Evolution; released R&B, urban flavoured pop, and mastered it". She called it "their best record yet" and gave it a perfect 10/10 rating.[27] Maximum Pop said: "All in all, a pretty solid album from Marvin & Co, as well as showing a significant progression of their overall musical style – they’ve moved from their pop leanings and have fully embraced their role as an R&B group, something that’ll help them separate from the growing pack of boybands out there, particularly against One Direction’s guitar-based power pop and The Wanted’s more clubby, experimental records. It’s an ‘Evolution’ alright, and we’re definitely along for the ride."[25]

Writing for 4Music, Chris Younie was highly positive in his review: "We've always known [JLS] were suave and sophisticated, but this has never been more evident than on this latest album. The boys are back and they're cooler, crisper and cleverer than ever before. We approve."[16] Lewis Corner of Digital Spy gave the album 3/5 stars. Regarding "Hottest Girl in the World", he said " was a relief to hear the group ditch their tired R&B-dance hybrids to serve up a cool slice of Justin Timberlake-styled pop. Their new attitude showed everyone that JLS are not shy about shaking off their boyish charm and transform into a charismatic manband." He was critical of other tracks "I Like It" and "Gotta Try It", but admitted that "Nevertheless, the result is an improvement on 2011's Jukebox and proves that JLS still have some mileage in them yet."[20] In a review for AllMusic, Matt Collar said: "The fourth album from 2008 X Factor runner-up JLS, 2012's Evolution features more of the British boy band's slick, dance-oriented R&B. This time, JLS have teamed up with big-name producers Mr. Bangladesh (Usher, T-Pain) and Rodney Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber). The result is a synth-heavy album that evinces a kind of updated take on the '90s new jack swing influence that first inspired the group."[17]

Track listingEdit

1."Dessert"Aston Merrygold • Marvin Humes • Oritse Williams • JB Gill • Shondrae Crawford • Dwayne Abernathy • Sean Fenton • Keith Sweat • Roy MurrayMr. Bangladesh • Dem Jointz3:35
2."Hottest Girl in the World"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Abernathy • Ali TennantMr. Bangladesh • Dem Jointz • James Reynolds • MNEK3:37
3."Have Your Way"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Andrew Harr • Jermaine JacksonKevin "KC" Cossom • Jon-David Anderson • David AndersonThe Runners • Jon-David Anderson • David Anderson3:30
4."Hold Me Down"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Rodney JerkinsWayne Hector • Eric BellingerDarkchild • Hollywood Hotsauce3:30
5."I Like It"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Andreas RomdhaneJosef LarossiIna WroldsenTMS3:40
6."All The Way"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Crawford • Abernathy • Armando Buelna • Mark Guinto • Rose Benson • William ReyesMr. Bangladesh4:24
7."Give Me Life"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Jarrad Rogers • Emmanuel Orelaja • Jay WarnerJarrad Rogers3:07
8."Don't Know That"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Jerkins • HectorDarkchild • Hollywood Hotsauce3:56
9."Troublemaker" (featuring Bebe O'Hare)Tennant • Peter Gordeno • Mike "Scribz" Riley • Brittany DavisMidi Mafia • James F. Reynolds2:58
10."Gotta Try It"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Crawford • AbernathyMr. Bangladesh • Dem Jointz3:50
11."Homeless Heart"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Tennant • Tim McEwanDEEKAY3:58
12."Heartrock"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Lars Halvor JensenDEEKAY3:05
13."Single No More"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Jensen • Tennant • Johannes JørgensenDEEKAY4:06
14."Talk It Out"Merrygold • Humes • Williams • Gill • Bellinger • Erika Nuri • Harmony SamuelsHarmony Samuels3:43
  • "Dessert" contains an interpolation of "Freak Me" as performed by Silk.

Charts and certificationsEdit


Chart (2012) Peak
Irish Albums (IRMA)[30] 7
Scottish Albums (OCC)[31] 5
UK Albums (OCC)[32] 3


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

Country Date Format Label
Ireland 3 November 2012 CD, digital download RCA Records, Sony Music
United Kingdom 5 November 2012


  1. ^ Corner, Lewis (7 August 2012). "Exclusive: Justin Timberlake working on "crazy" new album, says Jim Beanz". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Corner, Lewis (9 February 2012). "JLS record '90s new jack swing' for fourth album". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  3. ^ Corner, Lewis (21 March 2012). "JLS 'make sure nobody can outswag new album'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  4. ^ Corner, Lewis (19 April 2012). "JLS: 'We're going to approach Drake to work with us'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  5. ^ Dawson, Kim (19 April 2012). "JLS Lads Have Eye On Drake". Daily Star. Northern & Shell. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  6. ^ Daniels, Colin (21 August 2012). "JLS announce new album 'Evolution'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  7. ^ Lewis, Pete (13 December 2012). "JLS: Musical 4Play". Blues & Soul.
  8. ^ Corner, Lewis. "JLS announce new single 'Hottest Girl In The World'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  9. ^ "JLS Reveal Pyictures From Music Video Set For Their New Single". Capital FM. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  10. ^ "JLS Film New Music Video Ahead Of Announcing First Single From Fourth Album". Capital FM. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  11. ^ Daniels, Colin (25 August 2012). "JLS announce new album 'Evolution'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  12. ^ Corner, Lewis (11 September 2012). "JLS unveil new album 'Evolution' artwork". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  13. ^ Deen, Sarah (25 August 2012). "JLS unveil new album title Evolution to fans on Twitter". Metro. DMG Media. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  14. ^ Copsey, Robert (6 September 2012). "JLS unveil new single 'Hottest Girl in the World' - listen". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  15. ^ a b "Evolution - JLS". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  16. ^ a b Younie, Chris (18 October 2012). "JLS - Evolution". 4Music. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  17. ^ a b Collar, Matt (5 November 2012). "Review: Evolution - JLS". AllMusic. AllRovi. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  18. ^ a b Kitchener, Shaun. "Good news everyone! JLS are back on form with new album Evolution". AMAZEPOP. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  19. ^ Gage, Simon (2 November 2012). "Album Review: Evolution by JLS". Daily Express. Northern and Shell Media. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  20. ^ a b Corner, Lewis (3 November 2012). "JLS: 'Evolution' - Album review". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  21. ^ Phillips, Noel (31 October 2012). "Album Review: JLS 'Evolution'". Flavour Magazine. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  22. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (1 November 2012). "JLS: Evolution – review". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  23. ^ Gill, Andy (3 November 2012). "Album: JLS, Evolution (RCA)". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  24. ^ Wills, Kate (3 November 2012). "Album: JLS, Evolution (Epic)". The Independent on Sunday. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  25. ^ a b Franks, Luke (22 October 2012). "JLS' 'Evolution' review – amazing album alert!". Maximum POP!. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  26. ^ Matusavage, Philip (5 November 2012). "JLS – Evolution". musicOMH. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  27. ^ a b Lucey, Kate (22 October 2012). "JLS: 'Evolution' album review - "Their best record yet"". Sugarscape. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  28. ^ Evolution: Music
  29. ^ Evolution [Deluxe]: Music
  30. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 45, 2012". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  31. ^ . Official Charts Company Retrieved 17 February 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  33. ^ "British album certifications – JLS – Evolution". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Evolution in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.