Single Review: Nicola Roberts – ‘Lucky Day’

“Her voice has become a near-on parody of it’s former self with no explanation as to why”

2 STARS

Digital Release: September 18, 2011

Physical Release: N/A

It must be very hard for people who find themselves with an inability to express their whole self. Those that are forced behind more acceptable façades and illusive fronts must have to endure an incredible amount of frustration just to get by. You get the feeling this was a similar suppression Nicola Roberts endured in her chart-ruling days with Girls Aloud. She was frequently slammed as the ugly one, the ginger one, the one with the teeth; a fair many names that always cut deep but never exposed her burgeoning desire to break into solo success. Overcoming the worry that her material would be as colourless as Cheryl Cole’s, suffice to say ‘Beat Of My Drum’ didn’t exactly set her career on fire – it barely created a single spark; it was dowsed out by the awkward awkwardness of simply listening to her lyrics and music and watching her dance like a piece of driftwood in the accompanying video. So, without beating about the bush, Roberts’ solo début attempt didn’t exactly change the minds of the majority of those that preferred Cole – the biggest reaction the fiery-headed songstress got was a grimace.

But that’s a thing of the past, and it’s probably – like most things we’d rather forget – left in the past. On to single number two: ‘Lucky Day’. Produced by the Canadian trio Dragonette, ‘Lucky Day’ is, in short, a flamboyant pop stomper with a by-numbers structure and an unashamedly irritating chorus, not least because of Roberts’ award-winning Cilla Black impression. In fact, something about her voice on both ‘Beat Of My Drum’ and ‘Lucky Day’ (and all other leaked tracks and B-Sides from the ‘Cinderella’s Eyes’ era) doesn’t have to majesty nor angelic sweetness that can be heard on her Girls Aloud material. Instead, her voice has become a near-on parody of it’s former self with no explanation as to why her (possibly) unintentionally jarring screech is now taking precedence.

Armed with innuendos, suggestion and double-entendres a-plenty, her goofy delivery can barely carry any believability to lift them from mere pencil scribbles on an old piece of paper and she ends up looking more foolish than if James Blunt tried to chat you up at the back of an Oxfam donation shop – there’s something offensively cheap about it.

It’s a sad thought then, when the realisation crosses your mind that even after her departure from Girls Aloud, that Roberts is still struggling to express herself properly – resolving into unjustified apprehension about herself and her material. Some might say ‘Lucky Day’ is a delightful slice of bubble-gum pop. I say it sounds like an artist trying to think so far outside the box that she’s forgotten where the box actually is, thus anything she tries henceforth has no building block to stand on.

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