Sticks + Stones
by Cher Lloyd, pop (2011)
Syco, £7.97, ASIN B004KPLZKA


Poor Cher Lloyd. She is a pretty young lady, but her handlers decided that she would sell the most records if she was morphed into the female version of Justin Bieber, a lily-white creature who pretends to be all urban, hip, and tough. If Justin Bieber looks like the long-lost Hanson brother, Cher Lloyd is made even a hundred times more ridiculous with her big hair, trashy cheap-looking clothes, and enough make-up to make even a kabuki singer cringe. To top it off, she is given songs that make her come off like that silly Worcestershire tart who thinks she is Cheryl Cole's Black sister and raps in an awkward fake American accent.

Cringe-inducing tracks like Want U Back and With Ur Love sound like a parody of the worst of Disney tunes. It is hard not to howl with laughter when Ms Lloyd shrieks at her "haters" in the ridiculous Swagger Jagger or claims that she invented the dub in Dub On The Track. These songs are not bad, if you have a thing for music set to the beat of the Mickey Mouse Club - the problem is in the delivery. Ms Lloyd sounds too young and coddled, and it doesn't help that she dresses up exactly like she comes off - a pretender, a wannabe who has no idea how ridiculous and contrived she comes off as when she is trying so hard to emulate the urban sensibilities that she has seen on TV and heard on radio.

Perhaps the best track in this silly playacting album is Beautiful People, where Ms Lloyd is allowed to just sing without trying so hard to pretend that she's all tough and gangsta with her two-tonne hair and Bugs Bunny accent. She acquits herself decently in this duet with Carolina Liar, and if I wasn't paying attention, I would have sworn that it was Britney Spears warbling with that Swedish group. And then Ms Lloyd is back to doing gangsta fingers and pretending that she's Neneh Cherry in Playa Boi, a pointless tune that not merely samples Buffalo Stance - it also rehashes the same theme, retains most of the melody of that classic Neneh Cherry tune, and sees Ms Lloyd flailing like a lame duck as she tries to emulate Neneh Cherry's no-nonsense homegirl attitude right note by note, key by key. Ugh.

The whole thing is just so, so, so ridiculous and pointless. Someone please tell this silly chit to lay off the hairspray and stop pretending to be a Black American gangsta woman. She's not fooling anybody.

Rating: 46


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