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Saturday, November 19, 2011
Billboard Update

Rihanna's sixth studio album Talk That Talk leaked the past week, but the lead single We Found Love has managed to collect another week atop the Hot 100, while Bruno Mars rockets into the Top 10 at #9 with It Will Rain, trailed closely by Taylor Swift's new tracks If This Was a Movie at #10, Ours at #13 and Superman at #26 while Katy Perry's The One That Got Away rises up to a new peak of #15. Christina Perri's A Thousand Years is also on the move up, moving up to #46. Jessie J's Domino moves up to #58 while Glee's Uptown Girl debuts at #68. Rihanna is genuinely the queen of the Hot 100 right now, with her new single You Da One arriving at #73 while Adele's Set Fire To The Rain re-enters at #89.

Mac Miller is at #1 on the albums chart while Michael Buble's annual album chart fest is in full swing with his Christmas album collects the Greatest Gainer Title and flies up to #2. The unstoppable Adele is a non-mover at #5 while Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas II You re-enters at the other side of the chart at #194.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 1:51 PM | comment link here

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful + Gotta Be You live @ Children In Need

One Direction have gotten everything right so far. They brushed up their looks, and genuinely improved since their shitty X Factor days when they were literally the worst boyband then, with no clear musical direction whatsoever. They decided to avoid the clubby/pop/dance genre dominated by JLS, and the straight up pop that The Wanted have nailed, and gone for a pop/rock sound, although a lot more pop than rock.

What Makes You Beautiful was ridiculously catchy enough to warrant the attention of casual buyers to make it become the fastest selling single in the UK this year. With Gotta Be You, it seems Rihanna has stolen their #1 lead when the latest midweek chart prediction came in. And thankfully she's done that because Gotta Be You is rather dire, especially the studio version.

Nevertheless, One Direction got to open the Children In Need show and failing to do as spectacularly as Cheryl Cole did last year, with What Makes You Beautiful and returning with Gotta Be You. Liam and Harry in particular sounded spectacular, Zayn was okay, Louis and Niall were disposable as always. You didn't even hear them at all.

But we saw that coming anyway.


Music Reviews 10 @ 1:42 PM | comment link here

The Saturdays - My Heart Takes Over live @ Children In Need

It's release week of My Heart Takes Over for The Saturdays, which is sitting at #13 on the midweek chart, and if it remains there, it would be their first single to miss the Top 10 since the fabulous Work in June 2009. So to drum up some sales, The Sats dropped by Children In Need to give a showing of the new single with Frankie present. She missed out on promotions for the single when they did Daybreak and Loose Women. My Heart Takes Over might look like it's a disaster for The Saturdays, breaking their Top 10 streak, but bear in mind their upcoming fourth album On Your Radar drops next week, so most casual buyers would be holding out to get the album. Furthermore, Westlife's lead single to what seems like their very last album, ever, Lighthouse is doing even worse than My Heart Takes Over. And when you're a boyband that's been around since forever and what could be your last single does even worse than a girl group that hasn't had a fraction of your sales, suddenly things don't look so bad.

But back to the Children In Need performance. Those dresses didn't flatter the girls, I'll have to admit. But since the One Direction boys got to open the show and performed two songs, I feel a bit miffed for The Sats. They should've knocked out All Fired Up to get the crowd going. In fact, that would've been a perfect opening to the show. Pfft. Boybands always have it easier.

Anyway, check out more of their recent live performances of My Heart Takes Over below. Their new album is good too. Apart from the singles, check out Faster, Get Ready Get Set, The Way You Watch Me (feat. Travie McCoy), Do What You Want With Me, White Lies and Last Call. Oh and if you don't like My Heart Takes Over, replace the album version with the Rokstone Mix. It's MUCH better.


Music Reviews 10 @ 1:30 PM | comment link here

Rihanna - We Found Love live @ The X Factor USA

Rihanna's We Found Love is genuinely SLAYING everywhere, what with snatching a #1 single away from boybands The Wanted (Lightning), JLS (Take a Chance on Me), and One Direction (Gotta Be You) if the latest midweek chart prediction holds true on the UK Singles Chart, while in the US she literally has no chart competition with Adele's Someone Like You starting to fall down the chart.

And she only just started promotions for the single.

The Bajan megastar took to The X Factor US stage to give the very first live showing of We Found Love. Coupled with a loud backing track and an oddly puffier face (not in a 'SHE GREW FAT'! way, mind), Rihanna jumped around like how you would at a rave when We Found Love starts blasting through the speakers.

Overall, it was an alright performance, rather messy at points, but for the first live showing of the song, it was good.


Music Reviews 10 @ 1:24 PM | comment link here

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Selena Gomez - Hit The Lights [Music Video Premiere]

I'll admit, I don't really like Selena Gomez' latest album When the Sun Goes Down because it is what it is, a bunch of songs bigger pop artists rejected. Who Says was fine till she destroyed it with the awful live performances, Love You Like a Love Song was overrated and too robotic, but I'm afraid I'm quite liking the THIRD single Hit the Lights. It's remarkable because Hollywood Records tends to give up on an album after its second single, and promotion for the second single is usually rubbish so it flops (see: Hilary Duff's Stranger and Miley Cyrus' Who Owns My Heart). But Selena's fanbase has taken very well to Love You.. and sent the song to become another hit.

So Hollywood Records have finally started acting like an actual record label and released a third single. It's a move further into electro/pop territory and the further she ventures into this subgenre, the more I like it. Hit the Lights is very much a carefree number about living your life etc. without coming across cheesy to the point where its cringeworthy. And as with every Gomez video, there's always one look where she looks flawless and the rest I'm not too fond of. But overall, I don't like some of the camera angles and the behind the scenes video of the disco ball in the forest and the flashlights party in the middle of the road showed that they could've looked a lot better than those scenes actually did in the video.

Now if only Demi would hurry up with a second single already. All Night Long please.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 3:15 PM | comment link here

Sunday, November 13, 2011
Katy Perry - The One That Got Away [Music Video Premiere]

Katy Perry, after a successful 5 singles run of which all got to #1 in the US, and 2 of them, namely E.T. and Last Friday Night had Katy underhandedly bringing on rent-a-rappers to the tracks to help push the songs to #1. Ever since the overplayed disaster that is Firework, I've been terribly sick of anything Katy Perry, but what she has done, is excel at putting out truly stellar music videos to ease the pain our ears went through the many many times we turned on the radio to hear it playing Firework.

And with The One That Got Away, Katy's genuinely wrapping up the Teenage Dream era. The video, however, is very much Thinking of You 2.0, of which Thinking of You is by far better than anything she's done. And the tacky beat in The One That Got Away certainly doesn't help. But her stripped down performance of the track on The X Factor UK has made this song incredible, and just behind E.T. as her best single from this album era.

The video is painfully dramatic, but while Thinking of You was brutally sad, The One That Got Away tries its best and comes across second rate compared to Thinking of You. The only unexpected moment of the video came when "the one" drove off a cliff (anyone notice how the boulders in the road were perfectly placed RIGHT SMACK in the middle of the road?), and I would've started tearing if I didn't predict he'd die somehow or if I was a 13 year old girl. This video, much like Britney's Criminal, tries too hard to be overly dramatic to the point where all emotion is stripped away.

Also, someone needs to get rid of that cheap beat in the song.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 1:54 PM | comment link here

Friday, November 11, 2011
Music Reviews 10 @ 6:29 PM | comment link here

Billboard Update

Rihanna's We Found Love snags another week at #1 on the Hot 100, without even properly promoting the track and she's got a new single along the way. #SinglesQueen Bruno Mars collects the Digital Gainer title and rockets up to #12 with It Will Rain, while Kelly Clarkson falls five spots down to #15 with Mr. Know It All. With the music video imminent, Katy Perry is fiercely gaining serious ground, vaulting up to #18 from #34 with her new track The One That Got Away. Christina Perri is also flying up the chart, with delicate ballad A Thousand Years moving up to #59 while Colbie Caillat inches up to #62 with Brighter Than the Sun. Jessie J's new Stateside single is also on its way up to #67 with Domino. With Glee's return to television screens after a short break, it also marks a return to the charts, with Last Friday Night making its way to #72. Daughtry's new by the numbers track Crawling Back To You moves up to #87 while Scotty McCreery's new single The Trouble With Girls re-enters at #98.

The slew of new entries on the album chart including Justin Bieber's Christmas album, Wale, Miranda Lambert, Susan Boyle and Florence + The Machine spell bad news for other chart entries with Coldplay tumbling six spots to #7 while Kelly Clarkson's Stronger falls eight spots to #10.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 5:07 PM | comment link here

The Wanted - Warzone [Music Video Premiere]

If The Wanted weren't a boyband with an army of fangirls and their music was shit, they'd be screwed by now.

The Wanted told press that their previous single Lightning was a "filler" single, and I'm sorry, but which pop act says they put out a "filler" single? Especially since Lightning wasn't released too long ago and the interest for the song would naturally diminish and the song would plummet down the chart. Not to mention they said they had plans to re-issue their upcoming album Battleground with one of the tracks as a duet with an American female recording star. Their album is out now and apparently has started falling down the iTunes chart.


Nevertheless, The Wanted have trotted out a new music video when Lightning was released not too long ago, and it's for the new single Warzone, set to be released.... (wait for it).... In January next year. This is a tactic most British pop artists use, except the norm is a month between video release and digital release, but The Wanted have gone for about two months. Fine. Let's hope anticipation for Warzone doesn't die by the time we reach January.

Thankfully, Warzone ticks all the right boxes, and besides being the group's best single lifted off this project, it's also the clear standout song on the album. And let's admit, The Wanted's worse song beats JLS' best song by a clear mile, so you can be reassured Warzone is typical quality The Wanted stuff.

The tune is a moody ballad about being cheated on, with Nathan sounding like sex to your ears on the first verse while Max storms the first chorus. Jay leads the second verse before it becomes a Max/Nathan fest again, which I'd be quite worried for Tom. Being one of the group's more prominent vocalist, and perhaps second vocalist behind Max during their first album era, we don't see or hear much of Tom on Warzone. Even Siva gets more screen time in the clip. And the clip is actually rather simple. From the same director that gave you Glad You Came, Warzone follows their previous two videos in having a scene where the boys are intimate with their girls, which just comes off as a bit sleazy, especially in the Glad You Came video, but in Warzone, it's a quite a good fit and you wouldn't struggle to see why. The video starts off with Nathan seeing the "girl of my dreams cheating on me" with another man and as the video progresses, it leads to the boys catching their lovers red-handed in bed with another lover, and being all dramatic.

Simple, clean, but it works. Now if only they'd let me manage them.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 4:53 PM | comment link here

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
The Saturdays - My Heart Takes Over live @ Alan Carr

Pop girl group The Saturdays are looking to cash in the Christmas holiday season, releasing their fourth album On Your Radar November 21st, the same week as Rihanna, One Direction, Kate Bush, and possibly the last Westlife release ever. Tough competition, not to mention the fact earlier weeks see Pixie Lott, The Wanted, JLS and Susan Boyle trotting out new albums.

However, judging by the album teaser, On Your Radar sounds massive, with the girls turning to electro/pop and stepping it up in terms of production, where their previous hits like Higher, Up and Just Can't Get Enough get exposed for being such basic pop tracks that they are. So even though they're still the biggest girlband in the UK by default, their music's starting to improve too.

But with The Saturdays, their fanbase is always able to clinch good first week sales, then the girls just plummet down the charts the weeks after, and is evident by the album's first two singles Notorious and All Fired Up which have just sunk further and further down the charts, which is a shame because their music's far better than the likes of JLS and Jessie J, so here's hoping On Your Radar makes them massive again like how Chasing Lights managed to make the girls the most exciting new girlband back in 2008.

Of course, nothing sells albums like a good ballad, so the girls have decided to go for a big ballad in the form of the Steve Mac/Ina Wroldsen-penned ballad My Heart Takes Over. To drum up anticipation, the girls dropped by Alan Carr: Chatty Man to perform a remixed version of My Heart Takes Over, which no worries, is FAR better than the remix they did of Missing You on Alan's show last year. The girls had some help on the chorus, but you could still hear Vanessa which is always a good thing.


Music Reviews 10 @ 2:58 PM | comment link here

One Direction - Gotta Be You [Music Video Premiere]

English boyband One Direction have had it pretty easy, with the catchy What Makes You Beautiful introducing the boys to the boyband crowd but doing power pop and pop/rock intead of the club/dance genre JLS have embraced or the straight up pop that The Wanted are excellent at doing.

Gotta Be You follows What Makes You Beautiful and is set for release in November along with their debut album Up All Night. The video for Gotta Be You has the boys outdoors again, and while they look good, there's an overdose of dreary fall/winter fashion like the coats which honestly doesn't suit them as much and too much Liam. Clearly Niall and Louis are the Frankie Sandford and Mollie King of this band.

The song itself is alright, isn't half as interesting as What Makes You Beautiful but they could release Rebecca Black's Friday and steal a hit with it.

Boybands just have it ten times easier.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 2:50 PM | comment link here

Friday, November 4, 2011
Billboard Update

Predictably, Rihanna and her Calvin Harris collaboration We Found Love has sailed to the top of the Hot 100, marking it Rihanna's 11th #1 hit, and I will cry when she beats Mariah's record of 18 #1s, which will happen soon. Get on with some hits, Mariah! Rihanna's sail to the top also means Adele's Someone Like You has been pushed down to #2. Meanwhile, Kelly Clarkson sees a massive resurgence for Mr. Know It All, which we all thought was going to flop seeing its massive drop down the chart in its second week. However, the soulful pop/rock midtempo has bounced back up nine spots to #10. Being one of the massive pop superstars on the planet right now means everyone will be ringing you up, and Coldplay did that with RiRi, and their duet on Princess of China arrives at #20 on the chart this week. Also seeing a resurgence is Bruno Mars' It Will Rain, which has risen to a new peak of #21, while Katy Perry's sixth(!) single off Teenage Dream, The One That Got Away, has shot up to #34. Obvious album standout What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger) off Kelly Clarkson's new album Stronger, crashes the chart at #64 while Colbie Caillat's Brighter Than The Sun follows right behind at #65. Jessie J's new American single Domino is also on the rise, moving up to #81 while Christina Perri's A Thousand Years plummets to #91.

Over on the album chart, the unstoppable Coldplay fights off competition from pop heavyweight Kelly Clarkson and pop/jazz crooner Michael Buble to land at #1 with Mylo Xyloto while Stronger lands at #2 while Buble's Christmas album sits at #3. American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery's Clear as Day seems to have some serious holding power (not Adele terms of holding power, but you get what I mean), as the album stays strong at #7. The runner-up of the same season Lauren Alaina doesn't seem to have as much luck, with her debut album Wildflower falling to #24 despite being released a week after Scotty's album.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 4:35 PM | comment link here

Jason DeRulo - Breathing [Music Video Premiere]

Over time, Jason DeRulo has proven himself to be quite reliable to give us some good tunes, some occasionally horribly trashy tracks (Don't Wanna Go Home, Whatcha Say, Ridin' Solo), but this is from the man that gave us In My Head, so he is somewhat forgiven. That said, for his second album Future History, he hasn't been able to produce a hit as massive as In My Head yet, and has already released two singles off the album - the clubby Don't Wanna Go Home and the by the numbers Bruno Mars type of song with It Girl, except without the raw gutsy vocal of Bruno.

Both ultimately forgettable numbers. Now he's on his third single, titled Breathing. Yes, Breathing is another one for the clubs, now that that's out of the way, by mainstream club tracks standard, this is actually decent. There's always the fear of the song going to shit thanks to cheap, generic production ala Nicole Scherzinger's new tune Try With Me, but it just never does. It just gets terribly worryingly close to it. The video for the track itself seems like Jason's a little over four days late for Halloween with the Halloween-themed clip.

Eh, it's no In My Head, but it'll do.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 4:25 PM | comment link here

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Matt Cardle - Starlight [Music Video Premiere]

I wouldn't blame you if you hated Matt Cardle. After all, for a man who does a lot of talking about how he's credible and has put down The X Factor, the show that was his launching pad, numerous times, yet released a totally generic by the numbers pop/rock single Run For Your Life, co-written by Gary Barlow, with the song showing off the wrong sides of Matt's voice.

Of course, there's the pressure to not become another Leon Jackson or any other male winner of The X Factor, to be dropped as soon as a new X Factor winner comes along. However, seeing the way Run For Your Life has plummeted down the chart, his label are rushing out a new single. Smart move. And it appears to be the markedly better Starlight. But that's not anything to go by because Run For Your Life was really terrible, so anything after that would be an improvement. That said, it's still quite a forgettable tune. But at least it's a likeable forgettable tune. The music video doesn't have much going on either, but if you haven't heard it yet, there you go.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 6:41 PM | comment link here

Big News: MRAs 2011 nominations!

Well it's that time of the year again, where the nominations for MRAs are out for the year! This year, I'm revamping some categories, scrapping Comeback Album of the Year, introducing Band/Group of the Year and Summer Anthem of the Year! Check out the nominations below and as usual, the polls will be up around mid-November.

Best Newcomer:
Scotty McCreery
One Direction
Cher Lloyd
Katy B
Ed Sheeran
Christina Perri

Tour of the Year:
Rihanna - Loud Tour
Katy Perry - California Dreams Tour
The Saturdays - Headlines! Tour
Britney Spears - Femme Fatale Tour

Live Performance Of the Year:
Bruno Mars - Runaway Baby (The X Factor UK)
Jennifer Lopez - On The Floor ft. Pitbull (American Idol)
The Wanted - Lightning (Strictly Come Dancing)
Demi Lovato - Skyscraper (America's Got Talent)
Adele - Someone Like You (BRIT Awards)

Song Of The Year:
Adele - Rolling in the Deep
Demi Lovato - Skyscraper
Britney Spears - Till The World Ends
Ke$ha - Blow
The Saturdays - All Fired Up
One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful
Kelly Rowland - Motivation
Lady Gaga - Judas

Summer Anthem of the Year:
The Wanted - Glad You Came
Jennifer Lopez - On the Floor ft. Pitbull
The Saturdays - Notorious
Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
Nicola Roberts - Beat of My Drum
Maroon 5- Moves Like Jagger ft. Christina Aguilera

Debut Album Of The Year:
Lauren Alaina - Wildflower
Scotty McCreery - Clear as Day
Jessie J - Who You Are
Katy B - On A Mission
Matt Cardle - Letters
Nicola Roberts - Cinderella's Eyes

Album Of The Year:
Lady Antebellum - Own The Night
Kelly Clarkson - Stronger
Adele - 21
Britney Spears - Femme Fatale
Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Music Video Of The Year:
Rihanna - We Found Love
The Saturdays - Notorious
Pixie Lott - What Do You Take Me For? ft. Pusha T
Jennifer Lopez - I'm Into You ft. Lil Wayne
Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
Britney Spears - I Wanna Go
Rihanna - Man Down
Ke$ha - Blow

Artist Of the Year:
Jennifer Lopez
Katy Perry
Kelly Clarkson
Demi Lovato

Band/Group of the Year:
The Saturdays
The Wanted
One Direction
Lady Antebellum


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Music Reviews 10 @ 4:13 PM | comment link here

David Cook - Fade Into Me [Music Video Premiere]

RCA Records are really pissing away David Cook's This Loud Morning album campaign aren't they? They first kicked off the campaign with The Last Goodbye which was not radio-friendly and hardly had any crossover appeal which helped him get hits from his platinum-selling debut album such as Light On and Come Back To Me. Furthermore, with the dance trend taking over the charts, artists like David Cook have it even tougher to break onto the charts.

After The Last Goodbye underperformed, RCA have decided to release the completely forgettable and album-filler track Fade Into Me. The video itself is one of those "tour memories" kind of videos with clips of David on tour between clips of just David singing. It's obviously a low budget affair, but the good thing is it doesn't look it. Nevertheless, I would rather RCA release Circadian than this standard, generic, MOR rock midtempo.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 3:37 PM | comment link here

Big News: The Wanted premiere "Warzone"!

It's pretty full on for Britain's boybands, with JLS releasing their summer #1 She Makes Me Wanna in July and now on their Bruno Mars-aping second single Take A Chance On Me, while teen heart throbs One Direction had their first single clocking in the highest first week sales of 2011 with What Makes You Beautiful effortlessly sailing to #1 and have moved on to their second single Gotta Be You, wintery like The Saturdays' My Heart Takes Over, while The Wanted also hit the #1 spot back in July with the club banger Glad You Came, then with just performed the second album Battleground's second single Lightning on The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, The Wanted boys have premiered their new single Warzone on radio.

I disliked Glad You Came for being everything I didn't want a Wanted track to be - clubby. Then they were back in my good books with the anthemic Lightning, with Warzone continuing this streak of good songs. Both Lightning and Warzone sound like more mature takes on the songs tackled on their #4 debut album released last year. Warzone is a moody ballad with Nathan and Max sounding incredible on it.

If you still, however, haven't tired of Lightning, check out the boys donning yellow contacts to perform a "Halloween-themed" version of the single on Strictly Come Dancing and an acoustic version below it.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 2:44 PM | comment link here

JoJo - Disaster [Music Video Premiere]

After ten years, JoJo has finally released the music video for her new pop/rock/R&B-tinged single Disaster which has only just been released to radio. The song debuted at #87 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a week, before quickly disappearing, but let's hope with this, the girl will be on her way up again, back into the upper reaches of the Top 10 where she truly deserves. (Whether that can happen in 2011 is another story altogether though)

The video for Disaster is relatively simple, with JoJo in a dysfunctional relationship, playing her guitar to drown on her partner's shouting, and singing her wee little heart out with her band. Typical JoJo video then.

Nothing groundbreaking, but here's hoping somehow or another, this becomes a MASSIVE hit.

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Music Reviews 10 @ 1:08 PM | comment link here

Nicole Scherzinger on Alan Carr + Try With Me [Music Video Premiere]

Well apparently miracles do happen. Remember how Nicole Scherzinger was on The Graham Norton sometime back, one of the funniest British talkshows EVER, and she managed to be completely boring to the point where it'd be more interesting to watch paint dry for 40-odd minutes? And then I started disliking her intensely after Cheryl-gate.

But imagine my surprise when I watched her interview with Alan Carr. Nicole actually showed personality by the bucketload, and is one of her interviews I actually laughed along with. Part of it could be due to Alan himself, but even he couldn't make Jessie J's interview half interesting. This interview brought me back to PCD days where I actually liked her, and quite a big deal too. So check out Nicole returning to old Nicole in the interview above, where Nicole does a spot-on Britney imitation and then teaching Alan how to yodel.

But the real reason why she jetted off to the UK amidst being a mentor on the US series of X Factor, is that she's got a new single out called Try With Me. The music video premiered some days back, and was shot in a rainforest in Mexico, where the song opens as a beautiful ballad, with Nicole singing angelically over the lush track.. Right before the trashy and cheap dance beats kick in and everything goes to hell. Eh. It should've stayed a ballad, or should've been better produced. It's not a great track either. But Try With Me is the lead single off the re-release of her debut album Killer Love.

Of course, Nicole had to do some singing while in the UK. She hit the X Factor UK to do some singing, where my issue with the song being a ballad for the entire song still stands. It's not embeddable, so check out Nicole still doing a better job of Cher Lloyd singing live on the stage here.

But just the track wise, With Ur Love >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Try With Me

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Music Reviews 10 @ 12:46 PM | comment link here