Single Review: Pixie Lott – ‘Broken Arrow’


Interesting that, when I first heard of this song and listened to it, I never thought much of it; it was very much a dry, emotionless, vacuum of a song with a simplistic simile for a title so all Pixie fans could pretend it was “cleverly written” with “beautiful metaphors”. Nothing that exceeded her previous outputs at all.


First impressions? Negative.


A few days later, the opportunity of looking up the video without actually going to YouTube and typing in the address came upon me once more, so I clicked on a link, as you do, but this time, I was under the impression I hadn’t actually heard it before. And once listening to it, it was only at 0:30 that I realise I actually had listened to it before. Meaning I’d listened to it first, then, two days later, completely forgotten the song, or that I ever listened to it.


Second impressions? Not very different from the first, to tell you the truth.


On closer inspection, ‘Broken Arrow’ is all it should be, a soft rock/pop ballad, with heart-broken, typical “If only”-type lyrics, and a twinkling piano to sweeten up proceedings. It’s doesn’t argue with the fact it’s pretty much a bog-standard, bargain bin re-release single either: it’s almost like it’s accepting the fact that it’s only there to make extra money; not to be any good. It plods along, like a lost donkey, through the production; the odd hi-hat hopelessly trying to spruce up to otherwise very bland beat, a mix of drum machine and live drum kit.


The thing with ballads is, you’ve only got about three major conceptual fundamentals that can make it that amazing song you heard off the radio this morning and can’t wait to buy: Option #1 is out of the question if it wasn’t written by Gary Barlow, Option #2 is to go the favoured-by-boybands route and have a massive key-change and gospel choir about two thirds in, and Option #3 is to chuck away the commerciality and have those lyrics, that induce those tears and that lump in your throat.


‘’roken Arrow’ has neither of those qualities, and if you’ve got no key change and it’s not written by the God of Ballads, you can’t just put out something that has lyrics as… ignorable as ‘Broken Arrow’s. The lyrics say nothing that hasn’t already been said this year alone (a year where ballads are as popular as gout), and Pixie tries no vocal flourish to tart them up, and unless you count her “I’ll be all soulful if I sing through gritted teeth” ploy, it’s like she just sung them from a piece of paper she hadn’t even seen until she got to the studio that morning. It’s emotionally hollow.


The video isn’t great either, but if my eyes are not deceiving me, it seems Pixie’s record label may have realised this is a bit naff, and so may not get so much return on the song, hence why they’ve product pacement-ified it all. HEY SAMSUNG. HEY CITREON. NOT TOO OBVIOUS THERE, ARE YOU?






Worst hat since Katie Melua’s ‘SMart’ moment in her ‘A Happy Place’ video, I’ll think you’ll find.



Yet again we’re denied to chance to find out who Pixie really is, what’s her niche in the industry? Everything she’s released so far sounds like it could’ve been sung by five other female solo artists all sharing her Top 10 success; she hasn’t ever put her stamp on anything; nothing jumps out and makes you say “That’s typically Pixie”, except for the incessant warbling that makes her sound like her vocals are attached to an automata.


To me, she is the most manufactured artist in the industry right now.


I know I may have been harsh, but that’s Pixie’s fault for making me stop a HURTS song halfway through so I could listen to this regurgitated rubbish.


Rating: 2.0 STARS


Download: October 11, 2010 (OUT NOW)


Featured Album: ‘Turn It Up: Louder’


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