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3 Words

The People’s Princess pleases with Her catchy generic pop

Rating: 7 / 10

Patrick Freyne, 12 Nov 2009

Cheryl Cole, the People’s Princess and National Treasure, possibly inspired by the general adulation she receives as a judge on The X-Factor, has broken the bonds tying her to the other commoners in Girls Aloud with a debut solo album. Now, say what you want about her less regal girl band colleagues, they still churned out some of the best factory-line pop of the past decade. ‘Biology’ for example, is better than The Beatles, modern medicine and soup.

While there’s nothing to match those heights on this record, it’s a tuneful, danceable concoction nonetheless, opening with the title-track, a blast of phasing acoustic guitar samples over a four-to-the-floor drumbeat, to which she duets with of the Black Eyed Peas. Generally the producers of her royal court play it straight. She’s got an assertive, tuneful voice rather than a pyrotechnic Whitneyesque warble, so she’s accompanied by simple synth lines and given soulful but unfussy melodies and snappy lyrical hooks (“I don’t need a parachute, baby if I got you,” she sings on ‘Parachute’). ‘Heaven’ (also featuring on the other hand kicks off like Laurie Anderson’s ‘Oh Superman’ with looped and effected vocal hooks before establishing a straight Janet Jackson-style groove. Then ‘Don’t Talk About This Love’ cuts straight through the catchiness centres of the brain like a classic Gloria Estefan ballad.

The only major disappointment really is that Cole sings in a generic, slightly nasal mid-Atlantic accent rather than in her native Geordie. But that’s her royal prerogative.

Rating: 7 / 10
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