Sunday, 20 September 2009

Going solo

No matter how hard we try to escape her, the Colester is everywhere. I can't help but love Cheryl. I actually think she's become a bit sanitised and Beckham-bland styling wise lately, but you've got to admit that she always looks flawless. I love her Geordie scrappiness, her genuine judging style on the X Factor and while I still feel the girl could use a cheeseburger once in a while, I do love the combo of big hair and tiny cinched waist.

I think TV is where she seems to make the most sense - I do have a guilty-pleasure love of Girls Aloud but she's got the least va va voom in her vocals by far... so I really didnt expect to like her first real shot at a solo single. But actually, Fight For this Love is not just inoffensive, it's got real playlist potential. You can tell it's had's magic touch (I love that a bigtime US producer is a such a fan of a Geordie girlbander) but she sounds good and someone very smart has told her to stick to what she does best: looking slick and sticking to a fairly mid to low range. It could have been more of a club track, I reckon, but we'll blame Will for that - I think the melody lends itself to bigger beats and more production than this sort of Mariah/Ciara clicky thing going on - but I'm sure there will be loads of great remixes before long. It sounds a bit Fergie actually, but slightly falls short because Fergie's main selling point is that she's got this massive powerhouse voice that cuts through all the background stuff. But nevertheless, she's definitely upped her game since the supremely rubbish Heartbreaker.

The only real puzzle for me is the styling... I know from various news stories and The Passions of Girls Aloud that she claims to love hip-hop dance, and the hoods, baggy trousers and fingerless gloves certainly reflect that, but then what's she been doing every other day of the year? This ghetto-fabulous look seems out of place when we see her papped or on TV constantly in demure shifts, waist belts, floral skirts, vests and peep toes. Either her stylist rules her life (there was a distinct point in Mrs Beckham's career where all originality and personality seemed to depart from her wardrobe too) or she's leading some sort of Beyonce/Sasha double life. I suppose you can't record a sultry r'n'b single and perform it in a twinset, but it just seems a completely different image than she's been carefully putting out there the last couple of years.

My overall thoughts on the new single? Surprisingly good, a definite grower, but probably won't set the world alight. I bet she'll be played (albeit remixed) in many a club over the next few months, and I'm quite looking forward to hearing more. But i'm still hoping for a Cheryl chat show more than anything. She's made for TV.

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