Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Beat of My Drum

Song: Beat of My Drum
Artist: Nicola Roberts
Album: Cinderella's Eyes

I hated M.I.A.'s last album.  I found it tuneless, hostile to its audience, and a real about-face in terms of what her debut and stellar sophomore album were all about.  M.I.A. got a lot of credit for her music, bringing the political edge to her persona, and yet... when you hear something produced by her main collaborators, Switch and/or Diplo, you no doubt end up saying "Wow, this sort of sounds like M.I.A."  I did that when listening to Nicola Roberts' debut single "Beat of My Drum," though it's really just a dumb pop song.  Or had a baton been passed by M.I.A.'s "XXXO?"

Regardless, I've been enjoying "Beat of My Drum" here and there for its goofy charm and had no idea who Nicola Roberts was.  Despite my pop leanings and infatuation with Euro-pop and U.K. music, I didn't know that Roberts was one fifth of the British public formed (via TV program Popstars: The Rivals) group Girls Aloud, who have garnered twenty top ten singles, four of which went to number one.  I know none of them.  Well they have gone on hiatus, after amassing a joint twenty-five million pound fortune, Nicola has created a line of cosmetics, become a vocal advocate against the use of sunbeds by minors, (!!!) and started her own solo career.  Man-oh-man.

The album, "Cinderella's Eyes," is being released next month, and recently second single "Lucky Day" has just been released in anticipation.  "Day" is a bit more standard club fair, but I actually like it quite a bit.  And "Drum," in retrospect, is kind of out there for a pop single... and a reminder that Britney using a little Dubstep in a breakdown isn't exactly "future pop." But "Drum" is pop, and with Diplo at the helm, you will hear the M.I.A. comparisons.  But what is really mind-blowing, is how catchy this track is, compared to the Diplo-assisted, MUCH more high profile, Beyonce single "Run the World," which didn't catch fire anywhere.

I doubt Nicola will have much success here in the States, her sound is very British... and yet, a listen to this and you'll no doubt have "Dance to the beat of my drum!" shouting in your head back to you.


Beat of My Drum
Lucky Day
The Promise (a Girls Aloud single and BRIT Awards winner)

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