Cher. And Cher I like.

by Stephen Tall on January 2, 2011

X-Factor-haters look away now. There’s nothing for you here.

Cher Lloyd was the true star of X-Factor for me, no matter that she finished fourth. (Jade Goody, it may be remembered, finished in the same position in Big Brother 3: can you remember the names of the three contestants who beat her? Me either.)

From the moment she strutted her tiny, fragile frame through Turn My Swag On at the auditions, you could tell she had something: incredible poise and presence, a pitch-perfect and original voice, and no-nonsense sassiness. I loved her performance, and I loved her.

That her undoubted talent didn’t translate into greater popularity may have something to do with her refusal to compromise, to take the safe option of belting out forgettable karaoke ballads. It may also have something to do with the quite horrible bitchiness of the British tabloid press, and the even more horrible sanctimony of the British public for lapping up that bitchiness.

But it doesn’t matter. Much. She’s been snapped up by Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation, where hopefully she will be given the creative freedom to mash ‘n’ rap her way into the download charts and the public’s hearts.

Whatever happens next, she gave me my musical highlight of 2010: the quite sublime Clapping Song spliced with Get Ur Freak On. It’s guaranteed to make me squeal with delight and smile in awe every time I hear it:


(Also available on YouTube here.)

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5 comments

New post: Cher. And Cher I like. http://bit.ly/hOvFQQ

by Stephen Tall on January 2, 2011 at 9:57 am. Reply #

Its not that i don’t like Cher. I loved her in the audition but she never recovered that awesomeness after that initial audition and yes my complaint isn’t about her ability to rap n’ sing which isn’t v. original at all but about the way it was done and the raps used as part of the song which is more to do with writing but any idiot could see it and say that it doesn’t work so why did she or her mentor allow the bad writing to get in the way.
Take Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word for example – the mash-up worked for like 15 seconds & then she rapped about being crazy and it jarred.

by Nicola on January 2, 2011 at 10:11 am. Reply #

She’s clearly got a lot of talent, but a lot of her song choices didn’t work for me and the ‘insert rap here’ approach didn’t always work. Thought Stay showed that she had a lot more to offer.

by Liberal Neil on January 2, 2011 at 11:05 am. Reply #

Fair ’nuff, Nicola and Neil. I think there was only one week I genuinely thought she fluffed — what I loved most, though, was her courage (as a 17 year-old, live on telly, in front of millions) to try something fresh.

I agree Stay was a great performance but it was also safe — she could have kept singing those songs, and would have had a better chance of winning that way, but she didn’t want to. And thats what I admire about her.

by Stephen Tall on January 2, 2011 at 11:48 am. Reply #

http://stephentall.org/2011/01/02/cher-lloyd/ nice short article about the lovely cher lloyd

by rhhsc on January 3, 2011 at 10:55 am. Reply #

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