Saturday, 10 December 2011
Cher Lloyd - Sticks & Stones, a short review
Cher Lloyd was probably the most interesting contestant on last years' UK X Factor. She exposed the absurdity of the whole overblown TV variety by totally messing up at the judges' houses stage of the competition but still having enough charisma there was no other way but to put her through to the live finals where this highly polarising contestant (I think pretty much all of my Twitter freinds hate her) finished 4th. I think it's safe to say that so far she's the most successful of last year's XF alumni...if she'll stay that way is the question, though.
Her debut album offers a mixed answer. There's much less rap than I expected (I quite respected Cher on the competition but musically she wasn't quite my thing), it's very poppy and you can find a couple of good pop songs on it...ones that make me think if Lily Allen wrote lyrics to them they might be perfect.
Then there is the UK no. 1 Swagger Jagger. Or rather My Darling Clemetine. Why oh why. Swagger Jagger with a different chorus could have been a great song, probably the best on the album. Oh well.
The highlights of the album include Want U Back, which reminds me a bit of P!nk's M!ssundaztood the way it uses Cher's grunts; the 2nd single With Ur Love a cute pop song which would definitely benefit if the creepy "rap" by Mike Posner was not featured; the catchy, Simms-sampling Superhero and Over the Moon, a song in which the cutesy pop and Cher's rapping are at a good ratio.
Beautiful People leaves me a bit cold, just an uninspiring sacharine ballad the album could have done without. I'd rather listen to Pet Shop Boys' song of the same title. Grow Up and End Up There are alright but not "quite there". Dub On the Track won't let you go once it grips you but I'd put it in the "annoying" box together with Swagger Jagger.
And finally there is the horrible, uninspired Playa Boi, an updated version of Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance. Gangster stance? No, than you.
Still I hope this one sticks around at least long enough to record a 2nd album and also to piss off all who would rather she never existed. ;o)