“‘All About Tonight’ barely tries to set itself away from the aggregation of cheaply produced electropop hits”
Digital Release: September 4, 2011
Physical Release: September 5, 2011
Pixie Lott has never really given any impression that she belongs to any particular genre – even analytical veterans would find it hard to explicitly define her music as little more than easily digestible pop – but even that opens up a multitude of sub-genres only expanding the dilemma of trying to find her place. The release of ‘Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)’ showed sparse promise and innovation, but the rest of her singles, her entire début album and it’s pointless re-release were lacklustre efforts and left many baffled by both her success and the difficulty to place her on the music spectrum. And after five singles, two #1 hits, and Top 5 album and a re-release, there’s still not a shred of notion as to just who she is.
But rejoice; the answer comes as she prepares her next chart excursion with the lead single, ‘All About Tonight’, from her as-of-yet untitled second album. In short, it’s a song that follows popular trend more avidly than a flock of sheep following each other in search of some fresh grass, but there’s nothing fresh here. And before it’s chorus even hits, the conundrum of just who is Pixie Lott is, is cracked and her frequently evasive ‘style’ is exposed as merely a shallow cry at individuality; at authenticity. Once long ago Pixie was to be commended in the way her voice was so distinct among her peers, but now her soulless mountain-goat vibrato calls for no such praise. Assisted by an inventory of perfunctory sounds never failing to be broad but always failing to be deep, and with lyrics that challenge the ability of one’s attention span, ‘All About Tonight’ is presumably meant to be the kind of liberating anthem for suppressed females who need a break, or at least, a night out on the town – “I bought a new pair of shoes/I got a new attitude when I walk”, she murmurs in the first verse. It’s not the first example in musical history of a female stereotyping an entire generation of other females, coaxing them into believing they can have their chance as femme fatales – “Grab someone if your single/Grab someone if you’re not”, she whines almost tunelessly, under the illusion that she stands a chance at being considered risqué alongside her peers with lyrics as tame as those.
And given that ‘All About Tonight’ barely tries to set itself away from the aggregation of cheaply produced electropop/dance hits (it might be your standard dance-pop hit, but it’s not even good in that context), sharing common ground with the majority of the Top 40, it’s success is guaranteed. But looking at this from a prospective angle, it’s hard to see, even now, how Pixie is going to fit into a market already saturated with talentless label puppets peddling the same music she is. The Top 40 is a flea market of independent sellers desperately trying to shout louder than their competition in order to gain potential buyers’ attention, and Pixie is the late-comer with everything that five other stalls provide at half the price she does, thus rendering her presence completely useless: there is simply no need for more of this type of music in today’s industry. From someone who achieved five Top 20 singles from her début, her futility and inability to advance from genres that ran bereft of character, fun and personality over a year ago suggest she and her team are quite clearly out of ideas.