Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Nicole Scherzinger – Boomerang

Looks like she’s replaced the Dolls with, well, just more Scherzes…


Alex Ostroff: Nicole Scherzinger’s perpetually failing solo career doesn’t entirely make sense to me. She’s capable of great pop and churned out a decent amount of it with the Pussycat Dolls, the apex of which — “I Hate This Part” — is genuinely affecting in ways that can still catch me completely offguard and destroy my emotions if I’m not paying attention. When not Autotuned to hell, Nicole’s voice has an intriguing quality that sits somewhere between brassy and raspy and sultry, and she acquits herself well covering my favourite Lesley Gore number. I’m not sure when she and her team decided that the best path for success where Nicole’s concerned is boshpirational Perryisms rather than something syncopated & sexy, but they’re wrong, and they need to back away from the metaphors before somebody gets hurt. Points because I’m only human, and mecha-bosh is designed to be somewhat catchy no matter how insipid it is.

Rebecca A. Gowns: Oh, it’s the lady from the Pussycat Dolls. Almost crosses the line into the sort of cheeseball pop that I like — almost! For now, it’s stuck in the realm of songs that you might hear during the pre-movie pre-trailers commercials/movie trivia. The video is similar: full of fun tricks, but all sort of dull and predictable nonetheless.

Will Adams: Scherzinger smiling through U.S. radio’s constant dismissal of her mediocre pop is either empowering or just plain sad. Take your pick. But I have to wonder if her idea of coming back around means singing on a track that sounds like “Firework” being streamed over a 32 kbps connection.

Ian Mathers: The verses and prechorus are kind of whatever, and I just don’t care about the subtext/metacommentary on her career (whichever it is, or both), but that chorus is wonderful, soaring and stomping at the same time and making excellent use of backing vocals. I wasn’t sure which way I was going to tip, but it turns out the rest of the song is inoffensive enough that it’s worth coming back to for that chorus.

Brad Shoup: One piece almost works: the chorus’ second half, which struggles to bounce against Transformers grind. Pop artists, if you want to show me you’re above it all: get happy!

Alfred Soto: That’s quite a racket you’ve hired, and no wonder: you’re ten feet tall but these problems feel so small. All the hauteur in your vocal training can’t reduce you to their level.

Scott Mildenhall: Nicole Scherzinger is a boomerang, and she’s going to take you down like you’re a domino. The gist here seems to be that even if you turn her down, Nicole will dust herself off and move on. Great, but that’s not what boomerangs do. Boomerangs come back to where they started from, destined, if we’re sticking with personification, to make the same mistakes over and over again, and that really isn’t healthy. But it’s not all bad news, because as well as “Domino” there are throwbacks here to the definite non-mistakes of “Poison” and “Try With Me.” Admittedly that creates a problem with the whole “diminishing returns” thing, but for now it will just about suffice.

Anthony Easton: A boomerang goes back to the source. Shouldn’t an inspirational text be about avoiding the source of trouble? Should it not be a rocket, or something like that? 

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: I don’t think Nicole understands how boomerangs work. Or fun. Or music.

Katherine St Asaph: This time, baby, boomerangs are bulletproof.

Reader average: [3.9] (11 votes)

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11 Responses to “Nicole Scherzinger – Boomerang”

  1. Cheeseball pop has such a fine line! This could either be a nauseating 2 or a girls-night-out 8. For now I’ll stick with my 2 score, but I could throw it on a party playlist and see how it goes.

  2. Ahhhahaha, Daniel’s blurb is so great.

  3. Aw, cheers. It should really be “or music, or fun”, but right or wrong it was what I was feeling at the time (c) Jay-Z

  4. I like the “Or fun. Or music.” ordering – makes it especially scathing.

    Alex nails what’s so baffling about Nicole’s solo career. I’ve never been a huge fan of her PCD stuff, but at this point I’d probably prefer it to all of these thumpa-thump empowerment anthems.

  5. Nicole Scherzinger ft. fun.

  6. I’m not a HUGE fan of her PCD stuff either! ‘Don’t Cha’ was far better without the Busta Rhymes verse or the corny saxophone when it was a menacing Tori Alamaze track, and ‘Beep’ is sometimes really annoying and sometimes a perfect pop song – the chorus is cheeky but will.i.am is annoying and the chorus ends up diffusing most of the sexiness of the verses which are campy but fun as opposed to campy and stupid.

    ‘When I Grow Up’ is kind of fun but not great, merely good, and mostly awesome due to the easy confusion of ‘groupies’ for ‘boobies’.

    But it’s all better than this shlock.

    And ‘I Hate This Part’ is transcendent.

  7. By the way, if any of you haven’t heard it, this is the original Tori Alamaze version of ‘Don’t Cha’ and you should listen to it as soon as possible.

    It still has those record scratches but instead of the horn line, it’s just minimal drums and than menacing organ thump, and she actually taps into the fact that this is a song about an unconsummated flirtation. It’s sultry and confident but also kind of wistful and regretful? It never lets me forget that the whole thing ends with “Maybe next lifetime, possibly…” which the PCD take never really gets across.

  8. I loathe everything about “I Hate This Part”. “When I Grow Up” I find totally magnificent tho. Go figs.

  9. The boomerang metaphor is very apt: Reject me at your peril. I will keep on trying until I’m up there with Britney, Rihanna and Beyonce, where everyone once told me I belonged.
    Also: stalker’s anthem.

  10. Clearly it means no matter how whose songs she mimics, she’ll still be going back to PCD.

  11. I’ve been trying to find out who produced this since it came out, and I’ve just found out it’s will.i.am. Unsure of how to feel.

    I had always thought Nicole’s problems lay with her producers (the harmonies are awful in Boomerang) and they never bring much out of her. I would have expected will.i.am to suck all of the life out of her, but he hasn’t, and he doesn’t seem to be the problem here, which is surprising.