“Her hastily-formed amalgam-pop sounds less like somebody confident of their own footing and more like somebody who still hasn’t found it”
Digital Release: July 15, 2012
Physical Release: N/A
Since Lady GaGa, for all her flaws, changed the face of modern pop music with all her high-culture name-dropping and clothes as art forms, many of pop’s previously stale female artists suddenly received a didactic image reboot – everyone from Beyoncé to Rihanna re-invented themselves upon the arrival of the more eye-catching GaGa, who paved the way for acts like Nicki Minaj to break into the mainstream. And it’s for that reason alone we have to thank for the persistence of comparatively small-time Misha B. For everything that Misha is, she would not have signed a record deal if she couldn’t promise to deliver a song like ‘Home Run’ with all the audacious bravado (however misplaced) that is required to make a song like this work in the music industry. ‘Home Run’ is one of those songs that doesn’t know what it wants to be, so it tries everything – R&B, pop, hip-hop, and even some hideous form of nondenominational gospel that makes her sound like she’s chewing on a tennis ball. And therein lies the biggest criticism about Misha B – what we see when we look at her and what we hear when we listen to her music is not something new or innovative at all, but someone happily conformist, who at the most makes a blind beeline for the extremes of popular tolerance but forgets to bring back the jewels that such extremities could bestow her with.
There’s no doubt about it – Misha turned a lot of heads when she stepped onto the X Factor stage, if not for the frankly alarming hair, then for her personality and her voice; a voice that to some sounded like ten years of Motown brilliance packaged in a single voice-box and to others sounded like an overwrought desperation to inject soul where there simply wasn’t any. But as far as is possible to tell, Misha B only wants one thing from her music – to be Misha B, and yet she fails at even that. Where we’re meant to believe Misha B is the freshest new idea in all that is pop – a luminous light bulb of pure unchartered talent territory suspended over the balding head of a label executive with pound signs rolling into his eyes – there is in fact a plethora of ways to link Misha B to almost any other popstar going. She could easily be shoehorned into a less interesting Nicki Minaj; a not-very-good Beyoncé; a poor imitation of Missy Elliott; or even an adult-orientated Cher Lloyd.
So despite Misha’s eager attempts, she still only registers as the missing link between the brazenly theatrical Nicki Minaj and the Queen of Hip-Hop, Missy Elliott, but never really scales the lofty heights that both those glorified music entities occupy, and instead looks on from the constraints that she puts herself in on ‘Home Run’. Because at least when her music industry reference points decided they wanted to sound like everyone else (see: the majority of either of Nicki Minaj’s LPs), they were still quite a lot better than everyone else. Misha instead is left as a momentary bright idea ready to quickly dim to nothing more than another ingénue chucking everything she can at a song whose polymelodic stuttering makes it impossible to hit – the energy’s there for sure, but it’s only highlights the poorly-aimed dissipation of her efforts – all under the gratuitously offensive assumption that she’s already heiress to some deserved crown of the UK chart when in fact her hastily-formed amalgam-pop sounds less like somebody confident of their own footing and more like somebody who still hasn’t found it.