Cheryl - Only Human
What's in a name? She's been Tweedy, Cole and now the rather elaborate Fernandez-Versini, but our Cheryl from Newcastle is just plain ol' 'Cheryl' when it comes to her musical career. Only Human is the former Girls Aloud singer's fourth album and her first since that group finally called time on their sparkling reign as the UK's best pop band.
The 31-year-old seems in philosophical form, if the opening tracks is anything to go by: 'Intro' and 'Live Life Now' both sample a speech by British theorist Alan Watts decrying how we shouldn't prioritise money over pursuing our dreams (easy for a millionaire pop star to concur with, eh?).
Before you get used to the idea of Cheryl the Deep Thinker, however, along comes 'I Don't Care', one of several tracks to drop the f-bomb. She may be making a point – or a 'bad girl' statement - but is a lyric like 'Throwback's "I ran out of f**ks to give you, baby" really necessary?
Dubious lyrical content aside, it's not a bad little pop album. Although Cheryl falls back on cliché more than once – most notably on the likes of 'It's About Time' (co-written by ex-bandmate Nicola Roberts) and the emotional midtempo ballads 'Waiting for Lighting' and 'Coming Up for Air', there's some subtle innovation, too. The skitterish 'Crazy Stupid Love' (featuring Tinie Tempah) is a highlight, and 'Goodbye Means Hello' concocts a heady brew of playful beats to great effect.
It's not perfect, but it's certainly got personality. The question is - Only Human or not - do we actually like Cheryl's defiant potty-mouthed personality to begin with?
THREE OUT OF FIVE
Review by Lauren Murphy | 16:35 | Wednesday 19th November 2014 | Album Review