When I heard ‘Call My Name’ I was in the middle of feeling like someone was stabbing me in the ear with a screwdriver, which is why I didn’t post this review sooner. I listened to the song, but between the loud pounding and the ripping pain I didn’t really have time or will to live, let alone enjoy it. A dance song, no less, with its loud drums and loud synths and generally loudness that my ear was definitely not welcoming.
But today the pain is no more and I could listen to it for about 15 times in a row, which I think qualified me enough to write about it. So here it goes.
Cheryl is one of those people I can’t help but love. I loved her as the feisty Geordie one from Girls Aloud, she was the best judge on the X Factor and the profound dislike I feel for Nicole Scherzinger is directly related to how the later took Cheryl’s place as she was fired from the X Factor US. Was it Nicole’s fault that she was fired? Who knows. Do I care? Nope. The thing is, I am a fan, and sometimes we’re not very rational. But one thing I was never too keen about was her solo career, and that’s because of what meant it for Girls Aloud. I had been Geri Halliwelled once, a truly traumatic experience for a 8-year-old, and it doesn’t matter the Spice Girls reunited 10 years later so I could see them. That kind of thing simply does something to a person. So when she announced a solo career I thought, here we fucking go again. And Girls Aloud said they were not splitting up, just taking a break, but to be honest, so did Destiny’s Child.
Eventually I realized that I had to give in and embrace what I was being offered, so that’s what I did. And Girls Aloud are coming back by the end of this year, so it’s all good.
‘Fight For This Love’ was a great first solo single. I didn’t think so at the time, but in retrospect it kinda was. It symbolized a lot of things, it penned the term ‘soldier’ to refer to Cheryl fans. It gave us lots of silly dance moves we ALL reproduce when we dance to the song. It gave us a glorious remix with ‘Show Me Love’ and a Brit Awards nomination. It gave us the Push 10 wave. You know what it is, you’ve done it in front of a mirror.
‘Promise This’ sounded like someone on speed singing a children’s song over Super Mario Bros background music, and yet it was so damn catchy. Cheryl had overcome a divorce and a pretty bad case of malaria when she released this, so in a way it amazing to be singing like she was on speed over Super Mario Bros music. It meant she was alive and well. Plus, Adele did a cover of this song, which gives it instant undeniable validation for those who didn’t like it before. ‘Promise This’ also had a ridiculous dance move everyone tried to imitate while on the dance floor, so Cheryl had, once again, succeeded in her task to become a cultural pop phenomenon.
‘Call My Name’ is the third time Cheryl gives us a first single. She’s not even Cole anymore, because, honestly, she doesn’t need it. This time, she is back after she tried to be a judge in the US and didn’t succeed. They said americans wouldn’t understand her and then they made fun of her clothes. It felt like a school playground for a while, but in the end she quietly retreated, got back home, then back to LA, and recorded music. Then she got a Twitter and started to take over the world, one follower at a time. ‘Call My Name’ feels like an attempt to make her own ‘We Found Love’, and while it doesn’t go as hard, it feels like a decent attempt. It’s everything you hear on the radio: it’s frenetic, it’s danceable, it’s catchy and it’s fun, with the plus side of being Cheryl.
So yes, I am a fan. A fan that’s currently on antibiotics and writing all of this because I love that Cheryl is back, regardless of the song, which, thankfully, I happen to like. So take that, Scherzy.
The video will be out the 2nd of May and it is directed by Anthony Mandler, who has worked with everyone from Rihanna to Usher. He also did Spice Girls’ Headlines (Friendship Never Ends) video. Let’s try not to think about that one.
‘Call My Name’ will be out on June the 10th. The album, titled ‘A Million Lights’, on June 18th.
You can listen to ‘Call My Name’ below: