Nicole Scherzinger’s road to solo stardom hasn’t been without its hiccups. The former lead vocalist of the Pussycat Dolls released four solo singles throughout 2007, mostly in the US, with little success and abandoned the album she was working on. Her solo debut Killer Love eventually arrived in 2011 and scored number 1 smash Don’t Hold Your Breath and Top 3 singles Right There and Poison. The album was certified Gold in the UK and it looked like Nicole was finally making a mark as a solo artist.
Following her first year on The X Factor, Nicole released new single Boomerang which entered the charts at number 6 but dropped massively in the second week. Between then and now Nicole has stated that she’s shelved around five album’s worth of solo material but she’s finally putting out her second album Big Fat Lie. Lead single Your Love peaked at number 6 and showed promise with Nicole mixing infectious beats with speak-sing verses and a catchy chorus.
The platform for Nicole to release Big Fat Lie was looking strong but the second single off the album On The Rocks hasn’t resonated with fans and is likely to debut outside of the Top 40 later today. It’s a real shame as the song is decent enough but honestly we wouldn’t have chosen it as a single. People want bangers from Nicole not ballads regardless of how well she can sing.
It’s likely now that Big Fat Lie will struggle to find an audience and it’s a real shame because it’s a solid pop record. The album opens with Your Love, which is one of the strongest tracks on the record, and there are a few gems amongst the 11 tracks included here. Electric Blue features T.I. and finds Nicole channelling her inner Janet Jackson. The 90s beats and breathy vocals are a perfect combo and we would have pegged this as the natural successor to Your Love.
Other highlights on the record include the rock-tinge of Heartbreaker, the Eastern feel of Girl With the Diamond Heart, and the seductive rhythms of First Time. All three of those tracks would make for good single choices further on in the album campaign.
There a couple of filler tracks here. Just A Girl is particularly unexciting and title track Big Fat Lie is a little Beyonce-lite.
The album comes to a close with big ballad Run which showcases Nicole’s vocals. We don’t love her in ballad mode but there’s no denying she’s got a great set of lungs on her and boy can she sing.
Big Fat Lie is a solid enough record but it misses the attitude and energy of Nicole’s best work and her Pussycat Dolls. The more you listen to it, the more it’ll grow on you but we like our Nicole to hit us with a bang rather than creeping up on us after repeated listens. We’re definitely not counting her out but Big Fat Lie, which is mostly a collaboration with The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, suffers a lack of variety which can happen when one production duo get too much creative control.