Messy Little Raindrops
We’ve got a lot of time for Chezza. We loved her when she was unpolished on Popstars: The Rivals; we cheered for every sassy smash Girls Aloud had and watching her as an X Factor judge, we continue to wish she was our mentor so she could hug us when we were overwrought.
Naturally, we had pretty strong opinions about that chundering cheater Ashley Cole, and it didn’t sit well with us that her first solo album was all about protecting their relationship from prying eyes. But Cheryl’s a fighter: when she was done fighting for her (no-good) love, she was busy battling malaria. Between that, judging duties, endorsements and divorce, just when did she find the time to write a new record?
Oh, that’s right; she’s not written anything on this album. Sure, the lyrics for ‘Happy Tears’ seem ripped straight from the diary of a wounded woman on the mend, but the most Cheryl did was sign off on a bunch of pseudo-personal confessionals scribbled by someone else. Wannabe club banger ‘Let’s Get Down’ actually features the line ‘Me and my girls walk in like the girls from Sex and the City’, while ‘Hummingbird’ sees her singing about blue jays and nightingales. Worst of all is the Dizzee Rascal-featuring ‘Everyone’ in which she trills, ‘Happiness is for everyone’.
There are a few surefire chart-toppers – the East Asian-influenced ‘Amnesia’ and the Starsmith-produced disco house hit ‘Yeah Yeah’ – but for a star marketed on her personality and vulnerability, this LP leaves us feeling short-changed. We love you, Cheryl, but this is just more puddle-deep pop.