Nicole Scherzinger is one of the UK’s most competent popstars. Yes, I know she’s not British, but she has been adopted by us because she was the only good thing about the last two series of The X Factor. Plus she’s yet to have a post-Pussycat Dolls hit in her native USA.
There are few popstars that can do this anyway:
Regardless of how good she is, her latest single ‘On The Rocks’ charted at 90 this week. This is the part when I should make a cheap ‘her career is on the rocks’ joke, but instead I’m going to try to find out where it all went wrong.
‘Boomerang’ is released. I think I’m in the minority but I don’t dislike ‘Boomerang’. There’s something a bit timid about it admittedly (it’s not a wow moment like ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ or ‘Poison’) but that’s not a bad thing is the post-Lady Gaga/EDM world that was 2013. I guess her label thought it would be a runaway Number 1 given that it was hammered during X Factor, but it ended up at six. Which was a bit of a disappointment, but it was probably a bit too simple to ever be a ubiquitous Number 1.
Also in March, Scherzy performed ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ on some Andrew Lloyd Webber ‘thing’. “Oh wait, she can actually sing!?!” said the whole nation.
She starts promoting Muller yoghurts. As much as the yoghurts are muller-licious, sometimes popstars need to be a bit more selective over what they endorse. For every Cheryl Cole and L’Oreal, there’s a Mel B and Costa Bingo. Nicole Scherzinger and Muller falls somewhere in between; the product itself isn’t that cringey but it should never be an extension of the Scherzinger brand. My Gran knows Nicole Scherzinger as ‘the stupid girl off the yoghurt advert’, as opposed to ‘her off The X Factor’ (which my Gran does watch too – she liked Sam Bailey last year). Whereas with Cheryl, she knows her as ‘the Geordie girl’, rather than ‘the stupid girl off the hair advert’ :(.
Also in April, she went into the studio with Mike WILL Made It. Which doesn’t mean much given that everyone was at that point.
She went back to X Factor, which is probably the first big misstep in this run-through. Yes, she was a complete ray of light and the perfect buffer to Gary Barlow’s brand of MOR, but she was a bit of a joke by the end of it. The phrases were a bit OTT and she was getting some bad press for apparently being drunk (which you would need to be to get through a Rough Copy ‘performance’). That coupled with the Muller/Herbal Essences adverts was a bit too much. The only saving grace was that she, once again, had a chance to remind everyone of how amazing her voice is:
It’s a shame that she didn’t get to perform on one of the results shows because she needed to remind the world that she is a popstar. I guess it was around this point that the Boomerang album was cancelled, which is a shame given that it probably would have had a few basic bops.
NICOLE SIGNS TO RCA RECORDS. Which was exciting in the sense that something was coming. She also announced that the whole album was going to be produced by The Dream and Tricky Stewart, which was exciting given that the album would almost certainly have more cohesion than ‘Killer Love’.
‘Your Love’ is released. ‘Your Love’ is a jam.
She took a tree to Alan Carr. She milked a goat on Capital. She performed on The One Show. There is nothing better in life than watching a popstar working their ass off to get a hit, so it was nice to see Nicole get a hit against all the odds.
‘On The Rocks’ is premiered.
Now, I know I am one for championing shit music (my undying love for ‘Nasty’ by Pixie Lott is probably the best evidence of this), but I think ‘On The Rocks’ is alright. The verses are dire, but I love the bit about serving a break-up on the rocks. Also, I listen to ‘On The Rocks’ almost every night at about midnight, and it’s fucking amazing to relax to. Or maybe it’s actually really shit and I’m just fucking miserable at the moment and need a sad ballad.
‘Big Fat Lie’
There is a human somewhere on the planet who let Nicole Scherzinger call her album ‘Big Fat Lie’. I wonder what they’re doing right now. Are they devouring a stuffed-crust pizza? Are they about to watch last night’s Made In Chelsea on 4oD? This person has made Nicole Scherzinger a laughing-stock.
I’m not even exaggerating when I say ‘Big Fat Lie’ is the worst album title of all time by a major pop thing. Pair it with the endorsements and Nicole Scherzinger is a bit of a joke right now. The only way she could balance the lolz would be with a killer pop song, and sadly ‘On The Rocks’ is far too middling.
This is what a killer pop song in 2014 should sound like:
Rita Ora definitely has the balance right with being a bit lolz and tragic, but with amazing pop songs to back it up. What Nicole Scherzinger needs right now is a song that is effortlessly amazing. Maybe Nicole could have one of those songs from the Rita/Calvin session.
‘On The Rocks’ goes in at 90.
What can we learn from this whole debacle?
1) Don’t lead albums with MOR songs.
2) Release effortless pop.
3) Choose your endorsements wisely.
4) Every pop song from now on should sound like ‘Rooftop’ by Zara Larsson.