As everyone knows, Nicola Roberts is part of the longstanding girl group Girls Aloud. She’s always been the ‘in the background’ girl in the group so on the news of Roberts embarking on a solo career, safe to say I’m sure more than a few people were a bit bemused. Although, she’s been slowly working her way towards the prestigious solo career goal for a while now and worming her way into the music industry’s hearts. The lead single from her debut full length ‘Cinderella’s Eyes’, ‘Beat Of My Drum’ is an unmistakably Diplo produced first attempt to break the mainstream and it fails to arouse any kind of excitement. Especially with strange barking esque noises and Nicola’s shrill (and often annoying) vocals, repeated listens definitely do not reward and I don’t recommend it.
Things take a turn for the incredulously catchy with follower ‘Lucky Day’; a looping synth hook and Roberts ingeminating ‘Could it be my lucky day?’ start off a feisty quirk pop dance along. The highlight on the whole album, this is the only song that really sees her potential shine through and her perky optimism rubs off with this fun motivational number. It’s frustrating that it doesn’t carry on with the same bounce, ‘Yo-Yo’ could easily be written for swagger brat Cher Lloyd. The instrumental is too minimalistic, the vocals are flat and uninspiring and the lyrics leave much to be desired; ‘All the other girls/ they say you’re full of it and talking shit’ Roberts spits with minimal effort, jealousy doesn’t quite suit her.
It’s only on Joe Mount produced track ‘I’ that we’re faced with an authentic instrumental that holds up well, swelling synths and twanging guitars backing Roberts’ vocals which sound like Mount’s female equivalent. Roberts chimes, ‘I hope that everybody loves my new direction’, it’s nice to see she actually cares what people think about her music but you can’t help but feel that her wish won’t be fulfilled. There’s a lot of work gone into this album, reflective on the title and album artwork; ‘Cinderella’s Eyes’, Nicola Roberts is somewhat of a Cinderella , she’s made her way up from being ‘the ginger one’ in Girls Aloud’ to having major producers back her and a debut album under her belt. This album is by no means a game changer but it’s refreshing to hear a Girls Aloud solo project that doesn’t sound anything like Girls Aloud.
By Aurora Mitchell