So it's NOT coming tomorrow morning - I spent an hour tonight writing this and I'm way too excited! hahah.Note: I'm trying a different approach in my review this time - during my first listen I review the song(s) as is. Second thoughts are reserved for my tweets or a compilation of post-review notes.
I first come to know Pixie Lott as a pop singer late last year (as in a day before new year's eve, I think) before most people knew of her existence but then I realized that I knew her long before I heard her recordings. She was the girl who lost out to the lead role on the brilliant flop of a show that was Britannia High last year and was heavily featured during the behind the scenes episodes but overshadowed by the girl who eventually got the part (she's got a brilliant voice as well). In a way I'm thankful she got rejected because now we have a young Brit pop singer with one (possibly 2) number one singles and a brilliant album!
Pixie Lott is one of those young girl pop singers and to me she's one of the better ones. Yes, her voice is 'soulful', full and mature for her age if you listen without properly thinking but the minute you pay close attention, you hear that juvenile side of her voice - it's not as full and mature as it can be because she's still 18.
Like JoJo and Christina, Pixie's now mature voice will mature even more - it will get more control, fullness and she'll learn how to use it the right way. At the moment she's still a bit confused but it's natural - the start of Band Aid is a bit too airy, give her two years and that song will sound brilliant.
One word of advice when listening to the album - in my opinion the entire thing is best listened to at near-max volume in damn good CD quality to properly hear all the loops and jumping through hoops and fire which means one, you have to get a good copy and two, GET GOOD AUDIO! No equalizers, everything set at normal and DAMN GOOD SOUNDING AUDIO. The album's brilliance is lost when you listen to it at bad quality to start with, on a horridly pitiful sound system/pair of earphones.
The album opens with Mama Do - the tap your feet, clap your hands song. It's catchy - it has the ability to stick on a mind and not go away but it's not annoying. It's a good introduction to Pixie Lott - representative of her vocals, image and musical direction.
Cry Me Out is sweet - sounds like a nice summer day. The chorus is gorgeous - the perfectly executed high notes in the melody make the song REALLY EPIC yet relaxed but then the drums and xylophone/bells in the background keep the air of sweetness. The middle 8 made me faint from the first listen - if this song is the only good one on the album I wouldn't be annoyed because DAMMIT it's good. Sounds like something straight out of the 40's/50's/60's, in a great way.
I talked of Band Aid a while ago and how the verses are vocally airy and immature but that's the appeal of the song - it sounds like the ending theme song for a Disney princess movie/chick flick. The melody is gorgeous and the middle 8 equals the one in Cry Me Out for a different reason - the island-y feel of the arrangement by the part just before the last set of choruses. It's a nice touch but doesn't seem out of place - the end repeats that feel and it's like, really cool.
May I just say how much I love the transition from Band Aid to Turn it Up? Hahah. It's literally cohesive.
Turn It Up (The Fall when I first heard it) was the very first Pixie Lott song I heard - it was the song that made me fall at this girl's feet. The pop-y-ness of the song makes me want to explode, the melody drives me insane to the point of no return and the middle 8 just kills me every single time. Hearing this song after what seems like (most likely it isn't) months of not hearing this makes me remember the very first time I heard it and how all I wanted to do after was write about the girl and get everyone's attention. It's one of those songs that have become my musical time stamps - takes me back to the very end of 2008 and beginning of 2009.
Boys and Girls has that big band twist and yet it still sounds like the modern pop song that it is. The computerized drums, almost monotonous chorus and heavily processed but not severely auto-tuned vocals compliment the trumpet parts and echoes throughout the song. That and the middle 8 sounds like the most brilliant thing ever. Dammit Pixie, WHY? How many good songs can you make in one album?
Gravity sounds like something by Ryan Tedder (if I'm right, tell me - that was a smart guess) and it sounds like the polar opposite of Boys and Girls. Pixie's vocals are processed at a lot of parts, the piano part + fake drum part is the focal point of the instrumental, the melody is melodic (redundant, I know but I can't find another term!) and we even get violins during the middle 8 which is not bad but could be better. It's one of those vocal show-off songs when sung live without all the processing. I wonder how this'll sound with a live band - brilliant, I hope.
At first listen, My Love is like a cross between Mama Do and Gravity - the instrumental sounds like it could fit the melody of Mama Do and the melody is flowy, show-off-y and gorgeous. But the chorus sounds like it's in a league of it's own when it comes to epic-ness and the verses sound funkily R&B-ish. This girl sure knows how to choose songs.
Jack sounds like it's straight of a Sara Bareilles album - the piano, drum beat, gimmick-y lyrics all attribute to the appeal of the song. ALTHOUGH, the last few lines of the chorus when the string section comes in sounds SO BRILLIANT. It's not something I'll jump off a really tall building for but it's a good song and a nice listen. Recommended for the Sara Bareilles fans.
Nothing Compares is the definitive ballad and it's not the stereotypical one - the melody during the verses isn't completely overshadowed by the epic chorus because it's got it's own flair and the song doesn't live entirely for the chorus. The middle 8 is so-so, not my type. The chorus is gigantic and epic in every way imaginable but what makes this song a lot different from all the other ballads these days is that it just ends - after the last chorus it's done. No instrumentals and extra ad-libs (which are good sometimes but not every time).
We've pretty much all heard Here We Go Again but it sounds so much better in retail CD quality. I will say nothing more.
The Way The World Works is the required 'encouraging mid-tempo verging on ballad'. The verses remind me a lot of Man In The Mirror (but it doesn't sound like it, really) mixed with John Meyer's Waiting On The World To Change and the chorus is just - WOW. Pixie's brilliant middle 8 tally is now up to 5 because the one on this one is DAMN GOOD. It keeps the song going and I like middle 8's that do that. The album ends with Hold Me In Your Arms - an R&B-esque number that now sounds like the closing theme song for a sweet love story movie. Am I right? Am I? hahah. The vocals show that she has the potential to get control without softening her voice but for now it's not sounding that mature yet. hahah.
This is how cohesive this album is - at first listen I like all the songs on the same level for different reasons that I don't have just one 'YOU WILL DIE HEARING THIS' song. Each one is different but once again, each is the same - this girl knows how to make a cohesive album.
So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: It's between Gravity and Turn It Up
Better Tracks: Everything else
My Least Favorite Track: NONE OF THEM.
THE RATING: 5/5 Have I been way too nice with album ratings recently?