Cher Lloyd’s album, Sticks + Stones, is what I could from someone her, if not even slightly better. X Factor Cher was the one I loved and wanted to win, because of her originality, her personality and her swag. She was not a cardboard copy type of contestant, she was the rebel, the trouble maker of the show, but above it all, the wave of fresh air that is missing from this year’s edition.
Sticks + Stones showcases all these qualities and more. It is an extremely commercial album, one that Cher’s target audience (mostly teenage girls) will probably like and identify with. The lyrics talk about love, but also about independence. Cher’s strong personality and music influences are all over the album, from the songs she has co-written (Grow Up, Over The Moon, Dub On The Track, End Up Here) to the rest of the tracks.
Cher’s quick rapping is on top form in Grow Up, a song that features Busta Rhymes, which is, along with Talkin’ That, a song that isn’t included on the album, the two strongest hip hop influenced songs in Cher’s repertoire. The album is definitely pop, leaning on RnB, but pop after all. Dub On The Track is Lloyd’s contribution to dubstep, an experiment that results satisfactory. Songs like Want U Back or Superhero remind me of Jessie J, they are fresh and catchy, specially the last one. Playa Boi is another stand out track, one of the best, catchiest of the album, which invites to have fun and dance along.
Sticks + Stones is a good introduction letter for someone like Cher Lloyd, so young and with so much potential, it transfers a good vibe, and while it is not all out there, it seems like a prelude to better things to come.
Listen to: Grow Up, Dub On The Track, Superhero, With Ur Love, Playa Boi