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Sticks + Stones

Cher Lloyd

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Album Review

Forget Jedward, Chico, Wagner, or the several other novelty acts that The X Factor has foisted upon unsuspecting viewers across the years, fourth-place finalist Cher Lloyd appeared to polarize audiences like no one else in the show's short history. Where some saw a confident demeanor, others saw a brattish attitude; where some viewed her as a voice of the streets, others believed she encapsulated everything that was wrong about today's youth; and where some marveled at her rap/singing versatility, others argued she was a jack of all trades but a master of none. It was always unlikely, therefore, that her debut album, Sticks + Stones, was going to be a shy and retiring MOR affair designed to appeal to the masses à la series winner Matt Cardle. However, there are times throughout its ten tracks when Lloyd does appear to be testing the patience of even her most ardent fans, none more so than on "Swagger Jagger," which may have hit the number one spot (albeit in a slow sales week) but is still a contrived mess, chaotically shifting from sub-Nicki Minaj hip-hop to nursery rhyme pop (its chorus samples "Oh My Darling Clementine") to Swedish House Mafia-esque trance, while its social media-baiting lyrics suggest her "haterz" are just jealous, completely discounting the fact that perhaps she just might not be everyone's cup of tea. Elsewhere, "Playa Boi" is an obnoxious slice of industrial R&B that should hang its head in shame for destroying the legacy of Neneh Cherry's "Buffalo Stance" ("He got a lean in the gangsta stance/He needs to rock the sickest brands"), while "Dub on the Track," a collaboration with grime artists Mic Righteous, Dot Rotten, and Ghetts, is a rather unconvincing attempt to prove her street credentials, complete with the now ubiquitous gigantic dirty wobble bass drops. However, when Lloyd stops trying so hard, she's actually a pretty compelling pop star. "Want You Back" and "End Up Here" are both infectious examples of cutesy pure pop that recall Britney before she lost her innocence; "Beautiful People," a duet with U.S. teen drama staples Carolina Liar, is a sweet Ryan Tedder-style ballad; and the closest the album gets to showcasing the impressive vocals she displayed on her famous "Stay" X Factor performance; while "With Ur Love" is a charming M.I.A.-inspired ditty that fuses a lolloping childlike bassline with bouncy beats and some surprisingly sugary-sweet melodies, although Mike Posner's guest rap is the pure definition of "phoned-in." At times, Sticks + Stones sounds like such a calculated effort to copy everything that's hot in 2011 that it's likely to feel utterly irrelevant by the time the clock strikes 12 on New Year's Eve. But it's by no means the car crash its lead single suggested, and if Lloyd can tone down the whole "in yer face" schtick, she might begin to win over some of those "haterz" who apparently can't stop "clicking, writing, or tweeting" about her. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

People judge too quick

It seems to me that people have not even listened to this album before they disregard it. Clearly, Swagger jagger is not the best song in the world, but on the whole this album is a cohesive, well structured, consistent pop record. Even though Lloyd is clearly not as talented rapping wise as her idol Nicki Minaj, her singing talents cannot be denied with her very confident command over vibrato which is noted in all tracks.
Album highlights include Grow Up in which Lloyd provides the most convincing rapping on the record, Want U Back, that provides an extremly fun and relatable song and feel, and Superhero, where the production and songwriting work in harmony to rpovide the perfect balland-esqe song for Lloyd.
Overall a very enjoyable record, and strong for a debut.

It's actually surprisingly good!

The song 'Beautiful People' is my personal favourite. Swagger Jagger, what a flop, I don't like that at all but on the whole it's good!

Love this album

Loved her on xfactor and love her even more now xx

Biography

Born: 28 July 1993 in England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '10s

Cher Lloyd came to notice as a contestant on series seven of Simon Cowell's U.K. talent program The X Factor. The singer and rapper auditioned for the program twice, singing ballads prior to being accepted through a performance of "Turn My Swag On" — with Keri Hilson's version the template instead of Soulja Boy's original. After a significant amount of support from the program's judges, Lloyd made it to the final but finished fourth. Throughout the series, Lloyd took on a diverse assortment...
Full bio
Sticks + Stones, Cher Lloyd
View In iTunes
  • £6.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock
  • Released: 07 November 2011

Customer Ratings

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