I’ll be damned: Nicole Scherzinger actually came through.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post imploring Nicole’s management to save her career and give her a proper promo tour. This included hiring an actual creative director and someone who can create better typography for her album cover. I was not expecting good things for an album titled “Big Fat Lie”–for someone like Nicole who has had so many setbacks and who so many people make fun of, I was actually expecting a trainwreck. But pop trainwrecks are always fun for me to listen to so I still listened with open ears.
And guess what? It’s actually a good album that will probably get overlooked because it’s by Nicole Scherzinger. We shouldn’t let this happen. She deserves praise for this.
Truth be told, the album is quite solid. Below I’ve highlighted every song on a scale of 1 to 10. Let this be your guide when listening to BFL:
Your Love – The opener to “Big Fat Lie” is a true European dance track and also Nicole’s first single for BFL. The sexy song features Nicole talk-singing in a husky voice and a chorus that is just her mumbling words. Yet it’s still pretty addictive. 10/10
Electric Blue f/ T.I. – Let me tell you, “Electric Blue” by far and large is the best track on BFL. It’s so fresh and also has a bit of some 90s throwback in it. Nicole’s voice is really on showcase here mixing between a falsetto and deep growl. The song is so sexy and has one of the best bridges. I’m so into it. I live for it. 10/10
On The Rocks – The first ballad on BFL comes quickly with this tune. This is Nicole’s second single and the video is a moody black & white piece of Nicole in lingerie looking forlorn in her bedroom. Upon first hearing it, I was not taken by it. But then while working a funny thing happened: I could not get the song out of my head. And then I began to love it. There are a lot of subtle moments in the song that become earworms: the “oOooOHhHs” in the background of the chorus, the “1! 2! 3! 4!”, the metaphor of serving a breakup over a drink, Nicole sassily singing “You never miss a good thing til it’s gone~” The autotune at the end could have been done without, otherwise it’s a one of my favorite ballads on the album. 8/10
Heartbreaker – This song is a slow burner that doesn’t really go anywhere in terms of chorus. The beat and delivery is pretty static throughout, but I still enjoy it. I can picture Nicole doing this justice in a live performance in a burlesque-style number (see, I should work for Nicole–she would slay with me) 7/10
God of War – Another ballad but not as strong as “On The Rocks”. The song does pick up tempo around the chorus when Nicole sings, “Tears of joy, I’m so glad you’re gone” but it’s not my favorite on the album. 6.5/10
Girl With A Diamond Heart – Another mid-tempo song and probably one of my least favorites on the album. There’s really nothing memorable on this one and compared to Nicole’s stronger tracks, it could have been much better. 5/10
Just A Girl – This is easily the strangest track on the album, but also really great??? I am so confused by who is singing at the beginning of the song. “If I was your girl,” either a distorted voice of Nicole or a male sings. “Boy I’d sure improve.” The track also has throwback mid 2000’s vibe to it that I love. “Lemme pray with you,” she sings. “Spend all day with you.” The weird lyrics plus odd voices make this song a winner for me. It will never be a single and most everyone will probably hate it, but that’s why I like it. 8/10
First Time – Nicole tries to be a diva and fails. Move along. 2/10
Bang – A bit of Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” mixed with big band music; totally doesn’t make sense but it’s still lovely. 7/10
Big Fat Lie – A much faster paced, Cheryl Cole-style song than I was anticipating. Nicole wants you to know that the girl she portrays in the public has been a LIE. It’s a surprisingly anthemic song. 8/10
Run – This is a great ballad. Nicole’s released this as her first American single (if you weren’t paying attention to Twitter you’d have no idea; she’s done zero promo here for it) and it’s strikingly beautiful. She sings it as if she is a jaded lover in a musical; great emotional delivery and song in general. 10/10
Overall I recommend everyone picking up “Big Fat Lie” and giving it a listen. Nicole’s reputation as a joke isn’t warranted. She’s genuinely talented and I would love for her to finally have a moment. “Big Fat Lie” isn’t without flaws, but it is certainly going to be one of the better underrated pop albums of 2014.