Cinderella’s Eyes

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Nicola Roberts
Cinderella’s Eyes
Polydor
2012

From the blistering, Diplo-sampled chant of [Beat of My Drum] to the dramatic glamor of [Porcelain Heart] and Eminem-inspired balladry of [Sticks + Stones], Nicola Roberts’ debut solo album is perhaps one of the best pop records to be released in the last five years. Her vocals are perfection: neither supremely overproduced nor are they left bare. She isn’t afraid of her voice and knows how and when to use her impressive vibrato to great and emotively masterful effect. Roberts and her main producer and songwriter, Dimitri Tikovoi, and songwriter, Maya von Doll, find so much tabloid-ready ground to cover and utilize lyrically, what little negative criticism to be found on Cinderella’s Eyes stems from typical lyrical content on songs not by that team; such as [Lucky Day], [Say It Out Loud], and [Fish Out of Water]. But each is so well sung and crafted that they sound fresh and sophisticated regardless.

On her list of references, she cited both Kate Bush and Robyn, whose theatrical touches resonate here, but a point of reference feels indebted to Gwen Stefani et al. on tracks like [Beat of My Drum], and especially critically-acclaimed [Gladiator] from her avant-garde pop music days of the mid-00s. Unexpected organ flourishes complement stand out track [Take a Bite] and viciously snarky lyrics find their home on [Gladiator] and [Cinderella’s Eyes]. But where Nicola really shines is in her spot on performance of her slower songs especially aforementioned anti-bullying anthem [Sticks + Stones] as well as third single [Yo-Yo], utopian prayer [i] and her award-worthy cover of The Korgis 1980 hit, [Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime]. If you are a fan of dance or pop music this album is and will be a classic.

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~ by vinyabarion on July 18, 2012.

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