REVIEW: Cher Lloyd is dynamite with debut album ‘Sticks & Stones’

October 5, 2012

She’s the latest sensation in the United Kingdom’s invasion of the music scene, and for good reason, too: 19-year-old Cher Lloyd is, simply put, the bomb.  The pop powerhouse, who took fourth place behind teen heartthrobs One Direction on the seventh season of X Factor UK, finally released her début album in the United States this week. And what a début it was! Sticks & Stones is an electrifying compilation, loaded with attitude and an edgy flare only Lloyd could pull off.

The smash-hit single Want U Back kicks off the album, a flawless indicator of the energy and sass that is to come. Its pertinence to teenage emotions mixed with Lloyd’s pleasing vocals is pure dynamite. For similar levels of vivacity, check out Swagger Jagger and Playa Boi. The upbeat tracks are placed strategically across the album, delivering punches of contagious tempos and club-approved beats. Undeniably, Lloyd knows how to work it, exuding the utmost confidence in both songs.

Grow Up, the second track on the record, introduces listeners to the British beauty’s impressive rapping skills, with lyrics such as “I’ve got a flow that’ll make you drop / I’ve got a flow that’ll make you pop / I’ve got a flow that’ll make your mother and your father call the cops”. Add in a guest verse by Busta Rhymes and the song is just about perfection.

Lloyd shows off her loyal spirit with the fittingly-titled track Oath. Featuring Becky G, the song is a fun and beautiful tribute to the relationship only best friends can share. Singing “Wherever you go, just always remember / That you’ve got a home, for now and forever / And if you get low, just call me whenever / This is my oath to you”, Lloyd captures the essence of friendship flawlessly. It’s a refreshing tune in a music market overwhelmed with love songs.

Slowing things down a bit are With Ur Love and Beautiful People, both of which showcase a more tender side of Lloyd. With Ur Love is a flattering nod to a boy who no one else can compare to. To emphasize her infatuation, Lloyd sings “Flying, baby, I’m shining, baby, I’m riding with ur love / One hit, baby, I can’t quit, baby I’m so sick, but so what?”.  Taking a slightly different attitude, Beautiful People describes cruel people who get whatever they want and “suck the life right out” of someone’s heart. Featuring alternative rock group Carolina Liar, the song is striking, with relatable lyrics of Taylor Swift caliber.

Overall, Sticks & Stones is a 10-track collection of sheer fierceness. Staying true to her audacious spirit throughout the record, Lloyd strikes gold with an impeccable array of highly-energized, relatable songs – on a variety of subjects to please the senses. Her raw talent speaks for itself, plainly detected from each song’s power-packed vocals. Furthermore, Lloyd’s bold lyrics and incessant doses of attitude make her an icon worthy of admiration. After all, sticks and stones may break her bones, but words will certainly never hurt her.


-Shelley DeHekker


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