Cheryl “Only Human”

Can we have a fair assessment of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini‘s new album?

Cheryl Only Human deluxe

Only Human is the ex-Girls Aloud siren’s fourth solo offering, another piece of the ever-expanding Cheryl brand which includes a high-profile role as a judge on the X Factor, a signature fragrance and autobiography. While she is unquestionably one of Britain’s hottest celebrities, Cheryl is quick to remind folks that she’s got all the makings of a proper popstar. This has been her bread and butter for the past 12 years after all. Naturally, Only Human is predicted to debut somewhere in the Top 3 as Cheryl has never had problems getting decent first-week sales. But beyond that, what will this album reveal and add to the Geordie entertainer’s oeuvre?

First thing’s first, as a body of work, this is Cheryl’s most cohesive album since her 2010 debut 3 Words. The vocals on the album are some of her most consistent yet and sonically it keeps her in the safe equilibrium of pop with electronic and R&B leanings. Only Human‘s main shortcoming is being a tad heavy on mid-tempos, even though most of which are pleasant enough and carry some form of life-affirming message. On one hand it borders on being too prosaic, especially since we know Cheryl is capable of dishing proper bangers like ‘Call My Name’, but at the same time it is quite a pleasant switch after her last album’s peppery break up themes.

The first single ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ (featuring Tinie Tempah) is surprisingly the album’s most rhythmic and addictive tune. The blaring horns, handclaps and merry ‘la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!’ bits seem to light up the album in ways unmatched by any other track. The song is produced by Wayne Wilkins, who was behind Cheryl’s first #1 hit ‘Fight For This Love’, and is his only involvement in the project. It’s a pity there isn’t nearly enough of this energy pulsating through Only Human.

 

The only other moment we get this burst of vitality is in ‘Firecracker’, a track co-written by Sia and produced by Greg Kurstin, who has done huge records for Lily Allen and Kylie. The track is a wig-snatching and semi comical index-finger waving alert to women eyeing up Cheryl’s man. She warns in about 100 words per minute: “He love a girl who can dance, not a girl with implants and a fake tan, wham bam thank you ma’am! Now I’m lit up like a firecracker. Don’t do well with a man highjacker. My man’s so cool, you know he just flattered. But you better run girl before I catch ya, catch ya!”

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Four Feed Limmy playlists you will adore

I am obsessed with creating themed playlists on Spotify. I don’t go more than two days without some form of alcohol touching my lips and I don’t go more than two days without updating a playlist.

YONCE

So here are four of my favourite and, I suppose, well liked Spotify playlists.

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Feed Limmy Songs of 2012: #10 – #1

People often step to me and say, ‘Limmy, it must be so hard deciding your Top 10 songs of the year. I mean, gurl, you listen to so much shit.’ I then pat their head gently with all the love and sagely kindness of Yoda and say, ‘A Top 10 song you will know, when you hear’.

Top 10 Songs of 2012

And usually that’s not just with one listen. It’s with multiple listens – over and over – everywhere you go. You start making up situations in your daily life so you can mention the song to a friend or quote its lyrics on Twitter. You sneak it into mixtapes for friends and in multiple playlists. You get really fucking upset when people rubbish it or clearly haven’t watched the video for it even though you’ve posted it on their Facebook wall, like, a thousand times this week.

So having said that, my Top 10 songs of 2012 are actually pretty obvious to people who know me. Unlike the albums of the year countdown where there were a few outer-pop forays, this countdown is a no-brainer.

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Chart Feed – 10.09.12

More flash in the pan sellers falling off the charts just as quickly as they came. You really come to appreciate what Adele‘s 21 achieved last year in anchoring the music industry, don’t you?

CHARTFEED

This week the sun shines on K-pop star PSY and his incredible viral single ‘Gangnam Style’. Guy SebastianMatchbox Twenty, Flo Rida, Ne-Yo and TobyMac also come through with the goods.

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Chart Feed – 20.08.12

Remember back when it was kinda uncool to be “launched from a reality TV show”?

CHART

Well, it would seem that if you can escape that stigma with class and some bloody awesome creative ventures, you’re guaranteed to be embraced by the masses in the way Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy were this week.

Elsewhere on this Chart Feed, it has also been a good week for the Spice Girls, Emeli Sande, Rita Ora and Flo Rida.

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Chart Feed – 13.08.12

The Olympic Games is doing nothing to stimulate Britain’s album buying habits as the nation hits its lowest weekly album sales in 16 years. Rihanna‘s Talk That Talk has returned to #1 on the UK charts with just over 9,500 copies sold – making it the lowest weekly sale for a UK #1 album in the 21st century.

CHARTFEED

Elsewhere, American Idol winner Phillip Phillips scores big on the digital charts thanks to a placement in NBC’s Olympic broadcast, the Pet Shop Boys cops a chart fail with ‘Winner’, and J.Lo now ties with Katy Perry for most consecutive US #1 dance/club play singles.

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Chart Feed – 06.08.12

A whole season must’ve passed beneath our feet, moons come and gone, colours of the wind changed, since our last Chart Feed – but I’m now ready to immerse myself back into a regime of tireless research on Monday nights.

Chart Feed

Perhaps once the choir of angels performing their celebratory rendition of ‘You Bring Me Joy’ has ascended back to heaven, we can begin this week’s pickings of the ARIA, UK Official and US Billboard charts.

This was a particularly rosy week for Justice Crew and Conor Maynard, featuring new entries also from The Veronicas, Kelendria Trene Rowland and Scissor Sisters.

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