Nicola Robert’s debut album, Cinderella’s Eyes is a gem amongst pop releases of 2011. Roberts worked with the likes of Dimitri Tikovoi, Diplo, Metronomy and Dragonette to launch her solo debut album.
The album kicks off with Beat Of My Drum (first single) produced by the hot DJ Diplo. Simple yet brilliant, wonderfully mixed pop anthem. The chorus is catchy and fun, crafted with fast, colourful electronic blips. The track sounds terrific in a club environment.
The second single Lucky Day is 80’s inspired mid tempo track. Whacky lyrics are accompanied by the driving beat. Nicola’s ‘ad-libbing’ as she sings ‘MYYYY my Lucky Day’ could be a hit or miss for some listeners. Lucky Day is quirky yet terrific, one of the best songs on the album.
The title track, Cinderella’s Eyes is a well composed, catchy Euro-disco. Nicola’s falsetto after the chorus is an interesting addition and makes the song so replay-friendly.
i is a darker song that contrasts with the rest of the album with it’s oriental motif and litany-like lyrics, while sticks + stones shows a more humane, vulnerable side of a popstar:
‘How funny that I was too young for so many things
Yet you thought I’d cope with being told i’m ugly’
‘Seventeen and thought that I’d won the jackpot
Seems I didn’t read between the lines of this one
I can’t think why I could of made you so, so angry
Your bullets I don’t feel them come on and fire at me’
There is one cover on the album, Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime by The Korgis. Instead of being overly creative Nicola stays faithful to the original which sits perfectly with the rest of the album as 80s vibes are prominent throughout.
Gladiator sounds like a British counterpart of Stefani’s What Are You Waiting For with it’s electric riffs and feisty lyrics. Nicola’s vocals really do sound like Gwen at some point.
Say It Out Loud is another radio-friendly track, possibly the most mainstream song on the album yet in a way it reminds of MGMT.
In Porcelain Heart Nicola pulls off an impressive high note towards the end, although the chanting vocals seem a bit out of place. The song itself is not as engaging as the rest of the album
Finally Yo-yo, planned third single is a ballad-ish piano driven track, with a synth chorus as Nicola belts out the hook ‘I feel like a yo-yo yo-yo yo-yo’. Probably not an instant hit but definitely a track which grows on after a few listens.
The album is very consistent, Nicola sounds self-assured and most of all honest. Unlike the overproduced albums of her fellow Girls Aloud members, Cinderella’s Eyes delivers both in terms of lyrics and fresh, unique ideas in songwriting. Cinderella’s Eyes is Nicola’s wholehearted effort which stands out from the chart-topping crowd-pleasers. Bright pop party anthems mixed with personal lyrics and darker electro tracks make this album a worthwhile record. Let us only hope that it’s not the last time we hear solo material from Nicola.