I’m very rarely one for taking advice, but one time I was told that the best songs are the ones that grow on you gradually; they’re the ones that’ll be with you for a long time. It’s the ones you like instantly whose shine will wear off within a couple of weeks, even days in some cases.
Whilst this holds untrue for many musical cases, throwaway pop has to be a good example of when that statement is actually a very reliable guide to what constitutes a good song and a really good, memorable song.
Let’s use the song ‘Poison’ by Nicole Sherzinger to illustrate this, shall we? It was the first RedOne production to not have Lady GaGa’s vocals on it for a long time, it was also one of the first times I’d heard a decent RedOne production not to have Lady G as co-producer. And my instant reaction was to award it a ridiculous 5 stars and hail it as one of the best new songs of 2010. How foolish I was. A few weeks later, ‘Poison’ became a repetitive bit of 3-star alrightness clogging up my iTunes library that’s had only one play since my minor obsession with it.
The thing is, it’s not uncommon for this to happen. Any non-Justin Bieber fans still listening to ‘Baby’ regularly? Non-Ke$ha fans still listening to ‘TiK ToK’? How about non-Beyoncé fans still listening to ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’? No? Not to worry. All I’m saying is that casual listeners move on from the last big hit, at their own pace, naturally, but eventually, we all forget unless we have some kind of obsession over a certain artist or we grow to love the song.
And now Nicole Sherzinger releases the second single from her “début” album ‘Killer Love’. I use quotation marks because it’s not really her first album, it’s just the first album she’s been able to release in her own name, after her failed attempt the last time she tried. ‘Don’t Hold You Breath’ is a very catchy nugget of electropop, ready to spread across the UK and beyond like the infectious tune it is. However, whilst it may have been brilliant on my first listen, ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’s “wow factor” had relinquished by then end of my second listen.
Oh sure, I respect the catchiness and it’s appeal, however, whilst the chorus sounds like an epic piece of dramatic pop done very well on it’s first appearance in the song, it just sounds very repetitive and nothing new is added to it on each repeat, making it seem a trifle half-baked. Interestingly, the verses are very good. Nicole’s husky whisper captures the essence of the song very nicely but ultimately, the vocals could do with a bit more power, particularly toward the end, where some ad libs wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Here’s the video:
Interesting to note that whilst she’s in the back of the taxi with her bare minimums, clearly looking like she’s just run out on her partner, that she has with her a change of clothes and a set of Badman headphones, too.
In the end, ‘Don’t Hold You Breath’ is a pretty standard piece of auto-tuned pop. Nothing about it does Nicole’s vocals any justice and the production pails in comparison to ‘Poison’s. But it’s still likeable enough – it’ll probably chart very highly and disappear, not just from the chart but from people’s minds too, within a few weeks.
Rating: 3.0 STARS
Download: March 13, 2011 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Killer Love’