Single Review: Nadine Coyle – ‘Sweetest High’

“Sticks in the mind like a sponge sticks to your bathroom wall: it slips off after about three minutes”

2 STARS

Digital Release: June 22, 2011

Physical Release: N/A

Little more than half a year ago, Nadine Coyle released her Tesco-endorsed début album ‘Insatiable’ to zero success, with it being critically panned and a complete commercial disaster. So what now? Now that ‘Insatiable’ has been certified Plastic and the wounds from her first solo stint have scabbed over, she’s pushing the rather out-of-the-blue new single, ‘Sweetest High’, an unpleasant late-90’s-influenced house-esque bore, with forgettable, perfunctory melodies and a painfully trite vocal.

One thing you can’t help but notice about Nadine Coyle – and Cheryl Cole for that matter – is that with Girls Aloud yes, there was that signature sound: that unmistakable, unapologetic pop vibe (which didn’t mind indulging in a fair amount of cheese from time to time, either) of the Xenomania production team. But as a solo artist, they just lack any identity; their fruitless attempts at chasing after that hit single sound more like pleas for attention by trying to remain relevant whilst copying the sounds of already-successful artists.

And if there were a single that illustrated this truth, then ‘Sweetest High’ is that single. On ‘Insatiable’, Nadine was presented to us as a half-baked pop diva without any of the emotion, and with ‘Sweetest High’ she’s in completely different musical and image territory, but still offering an equally stolid affair that sticks in the mind like a sponge sticks to your bathroom wall: it slips off after about three minutes.

Nadine sings of how she’ll “feel the light/And catch your high”, which, on it’s own sounds like a tempting offer, but her voice gives no impression or identity and ends up being underused almost as much as it was on the cod-pop ‘Insatiable’. The cheap production only accentuates this problem, and the whole thing strains harder than is recommended to try and sound relevant in a market saturated with similar – but better – electronic party anthems, only it’s efforts are futile, and so is Nadine’s solo career.

 

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