Nicole Scherzinger is out to prove that she can climb high as a solo artist. Her success may be limited in the US, but she is making waves over in the UK with her vibey, chilled R&B sound. With her last single Your Love peaking at number six on the UK charts, her fans seem eager for her upcoming second album, Big Fat Lie, set for release later this month. But for the time being it’s claws out for this ex-Pussycat Doll, who’s latest offering is a snarky ballad – appropriately titled On The Rocks.
The track kicks off with a smooth mid-tempo beat, before breaking into some sombre sounding piano chords. It really hits home that Scherzinger has veered away from traditional pop/electronic – this ballad is far from upbeat hits that were Don’t Hold Your Breath and Poison. Scherzinger croons over a lazy R&B beat, her vocals deep and sultry compared to her Pussycat Doll days. At 36 years old she’s still as sexy and in control as ever, delivering cutting lyrics like ‘since you’ve been taking shots…allow me to serve this break up on the rocks.’ It’s the tale of a dysfunctional relationship with an alcoholic partner, but her vocals aren’t emotive enough to pull off this track. Or maybe it’s just the fault of the production – especially at the auto-tuned bridge, where Scherzinger begins to resemble T-Pain. If the effect was to create a point of interest then it certainly failed in that aspect – why add unnecessary ingredients just for kicks? If it was to spice up an already lifeless song, then both Scherzinger and her producers have a long way to go.
While there are some that may appreciate the new Nicole Sound, others may find it somewhat lacking. It’s not that On The Rocks is completely horrible, but it’s only mediocre at best. Surely there are stronger tracks from her album that she could’ve released as a single. And if this isn’t the case, then perhaps Big Fat Lie isn’t as hyped up as it’s meant to be.