Sticks & Stones [2012]

Sticks & Stones [2012]

by Cher Lloyd


Forget Jedward, Chico, Wagner, or the several other novelty acts that The X Factor has foisted upon unsuspecting viewers across the years, fourth-place finalist Cher Lloyd appeared to polarize audiences like no one else in the show's short history. Where some saw a confident demeanor, others saw a brattish attitude; where some viewed her as a voice of the streets, others believed she encapsulated everything that was wrong about today's youth; and where some marveled at her rap/singing versatility, others argued she was a jack of all trades but a master of none. It was always unlikely, therefore, that her debut album, Sticks + Stones, was going to be a shy and retiring MOR affair designed to appeal to the masses à la series winner Matt Cardle. However, there are times throughout its ten tracks when Lloyd does appear to be testing the patience of even her most ardent fans, none more so than on "Swagger Jagger," which may have hit the number one spot (albeit in a slow sales week) but is still a contrived mess, chaotically shifting from sub-Nicki Minaj hip-hop to nursery rhyme pop (its chorus samples "Oh My Darling Clementine") to Swedish House Mafia-esque trance, while its social media-baiting lyrics suggest her "haterz" are just jealous, completely discounting the fact that perhaps she just might not be everyone's cup of tea. Elsewhere, "Playa Boi" is an obnoxious slice of industrial R&B that should hang its head in shame for destroying the legacy of Neneh Cherry's "Buffalo Stance" ("He got a lean in the gangsta stance/He needs to rock the sickest brands"), while "Dub on the Track," a collaboration with grime artists Mic Righteous, Dot Rotten, and Ghetts, is a rather unconvincing attempt to prove her street credentials, complete with the now ubiquitous gigantic dirty wobble bass drops. However, when Lloyd stops trying so hard, she's actually a pretty compelling pop star. "Want You Back" and "End Up Here" are both infectious examples of cutesy pure pop that recall Britney before she lost her innocence; "Beautiful People," a duet with U.S. teen drama staples Carolina Liar, is a sweet Ryan Tedder-style ballad; and the closest the album gets to showcasing the impressive vocals she displayed on her famous "Stay" X Factor performance; while "With Ur Love" is a charming M.I.A.-inspired ditty that fuses a lolloping childlike bassline with bouncy beats and some surprisingly sugary-sweet melodies, although Mike Posner's guest rap is the pure definition of "phoned-in." At times, Sticks + Stones sounds like such a calculated effort to copy everything that's hot in 2011 that it's likely to feel utterly irrelevant by the time the clock strikes 12 on New Year's Eve. But it's by no means the car crash its lead single suggested, and if Lloyd can tone down the whole "in yer face" schtick, she might begin to win over some of those "haterz" who apparently can't stop "clicking, writing, or tweeting" about her.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/02/2012
Label: Epic
UPC: 0887254275824
catalogNumber: 542758

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cher Lloyd   Primary Artist
Max Martin   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Orlando Vitto   Guitar
Anjulie Persaud   Background Vocals
Shellback   Guitar,Keyboards
Alex Delicata   Guitar

Technical Credits

Jermaine Jackson   Composer
Johnny Powers   Composer,Engineer,Vocal Arrangements,Vocal Editing
Neneh Cherry   Composer
Phil Ramocon   Composer
Craig Logan   Management
Jon Levine   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Max Martin   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Cameron McVey   Composer
Gerald Martini   Composer
Emily Wright   Composer,Engineer
Tony Mardini   Engineer
Mike Flynn   Producer
Michael Ilbert   Engineer
Jukebox   Producer
Ronald Jackson   Composer
Robopop   Producer
Luke   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
John Hanes   Engineer
Sean Davidson   Composer
Kevin Rudolf   Composer,Producer
Orlando Vitto   Engineer
Alexander Kronlund   Composer
Anjulie Persaud   Composer
Autumn Rowe   Composer
Runners   Producer
RedOne   Composer,Engineer,Vocal Arrangements
Savan Kotecha   Composer,Executive Producer
Jeff "Supa Jeff" Villanueva   Engineer
Carolina Liar   Instrumentation
Andrew Harr   Composer
Shellback   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Priscilla Renea   Composer
Jason Evigan   Programming
Tom Hamilton   Composer
Jacob Kasher   Composer
JP Robinson   Art Direction
Chris "Tek" O'Ryan   Engineer,Vocal Producer
Bilal "The Chef" Hajji   Composer
AJ Junior   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Monarch   Producer
Chad Wolfinbarger   Composer
Christie Larocque   Management
Andre Davidson   Composer
Lukasz Gottwald   Composer
Cher Lloyd   Composer
Dan Omelio   Composer,Programming,Instrumentation
Ammar Malik   Composer,Programming,Instrumentation
Marcus Lomax   Composer
Cirkut   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Clarence Coffee   Composer
Phil Allen   Engineer
Rebbeca Marie Gomez   Composer
John Black   Management
James Philip Morgan   Composer
Formetta Gibson   Composer
Trevor Smith   Composer
Henry Walter   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Sticks & Stones [2012] 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Cher's first album!!! There are some great tunes on it and they all have fun tempos to dance to :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No good  Rude Wont answer your emails
pray_read_volleyball_1999 More than 1 year ago
not the best....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this girl :D her style and music is incredible ^_^ proud to be a Brat
Anonymous More than 1 year ago