So, how did Pixie Lott end up at #114 on the charts?

Pixie Lott is a good popstar. You can’t really argue with songs like ‘Boys and Girls’ and ‘Turn It Up’.

But ‘Lay Me Down’ debuted at 114 this week. How did she end up there?

November 2013

A bit of the new Pixie Lott video leaks all over the internet. It’s a cover of an unused song from the ‘Burlesque’ soundtrack.

She does some covers ‘live at The Pool’. Her cover of ‘When I Was Your Man’ is particularly good, and she sounds and looks more like a popstar than she did eighteen months earlier.

December 2013

AND WE HAVE AN ALBUM ANNOUNCEMENT. It’s self-titled, and looks exactly like this:

Pixie Lott

Remember when she released the ‘Young, Foolish, Happy’ cover, in which she looks like she has farted in a lift?

618_music_pixie_lott

At least she improved upon that.

She also chucked out buzz track ‘Heart Cry’, which (even if you take Pixie out of the equation) is a good song. Ok, so it doesn’t really sound like anything that will create any buzz, but it’s ‘decent enough’. Is ‘decent enough’ good enough? Probably not, but it’s not enough to derail a career.

January 2014

Pixie-Lott-Nasty-2014-1200x1200

‘Nasty’ is unleashed on the world. I’d be the first to admit that I love ‘Nasty’. It is basic and she can’t hit the same runs as Xtina, but it is decent. Perhaps the problem with it is that it treads the fine line between being a novelty song and just being a bit tragic. Other examples include ‘Start Without You’ and ‘Drummer Boy’, with both Alexandra Burke and Alesha Dixon struggling to have much success thereafter.

The video is amazing though. Imagine being in the meeting when someone suggested that Pixie should be wearing nothing but a Chanel bag and a look of sheer terror. I wonder whether the same person suggested having her dance and slutdrop in the middle of one big orgy. The whole thing is a bit weird because it only highlights how tragic the song is. At least with ‘Drummer Boy’, it felt like a proper popstar song even though it was a bit shit.

March 2014: 

‘Nasty’ goes in at 9. Kylie’s ‘Into The Blue’ and Christina Perri’s ‘Human’ debut at 12 and 14 respectively. Not too shabby, but still not the Top 3 expected. A bit of a similar situation to Jamelia’s ‘Something About You’. That too peaked at 9, and that was the ‘big comeback’. Throwing into the mix ‘Drummer Boy’ and ‘Start Without You’, all four songs were a change of direction for the singers. In Pixie’s case, she threw away the pure pop of ‘All About Tonight’, in favour of Motown-lite. There’s a definite pattern forming here, in which British female popstars follow-up successful ‘eras’ with something that sounds completely different to anything they had done previously. The ‘reverse-Katy Perry’, if you will.

Although, you can’t really argue with another Top 10.

May 2014

Pixie-Lott-Lay-Me-Down-2014-1200x1200

She performed her second single ‘Lay Me Down’ for the first time. It went exactly like this:

‘Lay Me Down’ is a good song. CONTROVERSIAL OPINION: it’s her best single since ‘Turn It Up’. Now that is a great song.

June 2014

She released the ‘Lay Me Down’ video. The lip-liner is super strong.

Not directly related to Pixie Lott, but it was announced in June that streaming was going to count in the charts. Which has made it more difficult for pop acts to crack the upper echelons of the charts. Look at ‘Sirens’ by Cher Lloyd, that obviously should have been Number 1 but had to settle for 41. It’s harder for pop to get into the charts now because they can’t just rely on die-hard fans to buy the single in their droves. Perhaps the biggest test will be the new One Direction single, but we’ll have to wait for that.

July 2014

She performs ‘Lay Me Down’ anywhere she can. Ok, so she didn’t milk a goat, but she performed on ‘A Question of Sport’.

‘Lay Me Down’ entered the chart at #114. The problem with ‘Lay Me Down’ is that it’s just pleasant. It works in the background of her dry shampoo advert because it’s inoffensive, but it’s not the kind of thing I can imagine people actively going out and buying. Likewise with streaming, is the song memorable enough to make anyone actively choose to listen to it. It’d work well on radio, and it has in fact been played 1,250 times in the last month (in comparison, Cher Lloyd is at 400 and The Saturdays are at 700). Admittedly, she has been abandoned by BBC Radio and Capital, but if ‘Sirens’ can get to 41 with a fraction of the plays, then something else went wrong.

Going back to the ‘reverse-Katy Perry’, Stage 2 is to release a safer follow-up single to try to gain back lost fans. Alesha Dixon did it with ‘Radio’ and Leona Lewis did it with ‘Lovebird’. All of which fell somewhere on the flop scale. All of these songs are good, but none are exciting enough to compete with the likes of Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, who do the ‘reverse Katy Perry’ much better.

And that’s how Pixie Lott got to #114.

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