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Album Review: Nicola Roberts – Cinderella’s Eyes

Photo: Fabulous Magazine

Fresh from the release of her second solo release ‘Lucky Day’, the pop world waits with bated breath for Roberts’ debut album ‘Cinderella’s Eyes’ to drop. What we are looking at here, from the list of producers and talent on board, is a potentially spectacular album .So  as it’s release date rolls around, it has slowly dawned on Nicola’s fans (or Team Ginge, as they are called) that their faith in Miss Roberts has well and truly been worthwhile.

The most incredible thing about this record is that it is believable. Not many members of girl bands could have held the credibility that Nicola has harnessed – gracing the pages of NME and Heat alike. So whilst Cheryl has one or two massive stonking hits that sit amongst a pile of underwhelming album tracks, Nicola doesn’t have any obvious world-wide smashes, but she does have an album full of incredible pop tracks.

In the vein of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the ground she walks on ‘Cinderella’s Eyes’ is pop with a mature edge, so it’s no coincidence that Sophie collaborator Dimitri Tikovoi is involved with Nicola’s project. She tells stories about life, instead of the club and utilizes her own experiences as opposed to expensive producers’ opinions.

The most commendable aspect of the record is this honesty which details the strength that the songstress has grown to encompass – just a listen to the feisty ‘Take A Bite’ or the fragility of album closer ‘Sticks + Stones’.
The latter has the standout set of lyrics that has had the critics talking. Documenting her time of coming to terms with fame at a young age and the bullying media that tormented her, the ambient backdrop drifts along at a slow pace, bringing full attention to the sentiment of the track.

Away from Nadine’s inimitable voice, Nicola has the chance to take the lead and  dominate the tracks with her impressive, underrated set of lungs that have been tucked away since her incredible soaring performance on ‘White Lies’ from Girls Aloud’s debut. Whilst it demands attention on ‘Porcelain Heart’, complete with an incredible pre-chorus that she nails beautifully, the liberation seems to see her struggling a little from time to time, as is evident on a pitchy moment or two throughout the record.

The sighs of relief will be pretty hefty when it comes to ‘Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime’. Gracing the song are some extra synths and a drum beat, which means that we’re not treading into the yawn-fests that were Girls Aloud’s covers of ‘I’ll Stand By You’ and ‘See The Day’.

So, if you’ve enjoyed the pop with a credible tinge that Nicola Roberts has been slapping her name on, then you’re probably going to find a fair bit to enjoy on her debut solo album. It’s not Girls Aloud, but it has an essence of their eccentric style and it isn’t an upcoming indie popster, but it has an honesty that populates each track. As the lady herself claimed, “if you don’t know me after this album, you will never know me”, so are you interested in a trip down Roberts’ memory lane? Your ears will thank you if you are.

Photo: Fabulous Magazine
Words: Simon McMurdo

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