Cheryl Cole, the nation’s sweetheart, turns up the pop appeal in her second album. Is it a good one? Should you run out and grab it for your collection? Well, that depends on what kind of Cole you like the best…
Cheryl Cole's debut solo album suggested that she wanted to distance herself from Girls Aloud, with an emphasis on R&B and an attempt to pitch herself into the same arenas as Lady GaGa, Pink and Beyoncé.
Album number two finds her returning to base, and although more varied than 3 Words, it's an out and out upbeat pop record - the perfect antidote to her "year from hell".
In time-honoured pop album tradition the first four tracks are radio friendly killers with the questionable fillers lurking towards the end - Dizzee Rascal guests on the functional and clichéd Everyone. The over Auto-tuned Better to Lie could be anyone from JLS to Alvin & The Chipmunks singing Ne-Yo backwards. The 90s-style ballad Hummingbird amply demonstrates her vocal limitations. Much better is album closer Waiting - an exuberant piece of dance fluff that plays to Cheryl's TV princess strengths.
The album is good, clean, family-friendly fun. The perfect kind of album for doing the housework. We’d like to see Cheryl step out of her safe zone for her next album though – there’s certainly something under all her safe pop numbers that’s just waiting to be set free…