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A Million Lights
Third and best copycat effort from Girl Aloud
Celina Murphy, 05 Jul 2012
Everyone from reality talent show experts to low-functioning pets noticed the lack of musical capability displayed by Cheryl Cole at the Queen’s Jubilee concert last month, as she trembled through Lady Antebellum’s ‘Need You Now’ in a key so far removed from duetting partner Gary Barlow’s, she might as well have been sitting in the Archbishop Of Canterbury’s lap.
Most of us had already gathered that the Girls Aloud graduate was not an Adele-sized talent, but this particular performance was not just Lana-Del-Rey-on-SNL bad, it was a cringe-worthy, toe-curling piece of car crash TV and, with a new album to plug and 15 million people watching, it threatened to put a halt to Cole’s multi-million pound career.
Then, just two weeks after the shambolic display, Cheryl’s ‘Call My Name’, became the fastest-selling single of 2012, proving that a whole lot of music fans don’t care whether she can carry a tune or not, especially not with Calvin Harris’ great, throbbing dance pop beats to sweeten things up. Therefore, if you’re wildly intoxicated by the hip-swivelling euro dance hooks on A Million Lights, it’s because someone else put them there. If you think Cheryl sounds ravishing in her sultry contralto on bitchy lovesong ‘Craziest Things’, it’s because will.i.am, who has bizarrely become her manager, moulded the beats around her. If you’re digging the carefree chimes of ‘Under The Sun’, Alex Da Kid’s the name to put on the flowers. Ditto ‘Girl In The Mirror’, a superior, sassier ‘Call My Name’ and the Lana Del Rey-penned number, ‘Ghetto Baby’, which sounds exactly like something from the Deluxe Edition of Born To Die.
Of course, now that we’ve agreed that Cheryl’s getting none of the praise for the record’s highs, we can hardly blame her for its missteps. Straight-up snorefest ‘A Million Lights’ is a joint writing and producing fail, while the finger point to Taio Cruz for the godawful medical metaphors on ‘Mechanics Of The Heart’.