Nicole Scherzinger – Killer Love

May 20, 2011 at 9:55 PM | Posted in Nicole Scherzinger | Leave a comment

Nicole Scherzinger – Killer Love

1. Poison
2. Killer Love
3. Don’t Hold Your Breath
4. Right There
5. You Will Be Loved
6. Wet
7. Say Yes
8. Club Banger Nation
9. Power’s Out (feat. Sting)
10. Desperate
11. Everybody
12. Heartbeat (Rudi Wells’ Open Heart Remix) (Enrique Iglesias feat. Nicole Scherzinger)
13. Casualty
14. AmenJena

♦ ♦ ♦

Killer Love is the long awaited debut album by American singer Nicole Scherzinger, released on March 18, 2011 by Interscope Records. Scherzinger began recording in 2005 under the title ‘Her Name Is Nicole”, originally scheduled for 2007. However, unsuccesful singles and poor timing led to the album being pushed back numerous times. The album peaked at #8 in the UK charts.

The introduction for Poison is a bit weird (altered electric guitar chords), but yet very fierce. The song is dance-pop, a genre that is ubiquitous on this album, and the way the musical style blends with Nicole’s developed voice is very nice. It’s a club banger, very synth heavy and a very nice opener indeed for the album. It’s an immediate wake-up call to show the talent she has. I really liked the hooks in this song!

Killer Love sounds like such a club banger too, and judging from her PCD years I didn’t expect such bombastic dance songs from Nicole. But this works out very fine, the chorus has a nice addictive melody and I love how Nicole sings the title words here. The percussion isn’t always your regular dance beat, there are variations here (tribal, another pattern) to make the music more interesting.

The immediate standout track for me personally would definitely be Don’t Hold Your Breath with very modest verses and a catchy chorus. This song is more midtempo and features some Europop elements here and there, and I really like the track as a whole. Nicole’s vocals are very powerful yet she controls her voice very well, I really like this track because it’s  stuck in my head all day long.

Then we get into a more R&B-ish style for the album with Right There, a song that could’ve easily been stolen from Rihanna’s latest album. This song has a very nice Island-vibe and Nicole delivers a rather funny vocal performance with a caribbean accent, but it’s decent just the same, it doesn’t bring the song down at all. It’s just all the more fun to listen to, and I love the bass heavy beat in this song. Can’t wait to hear the newly recorded version with 50 Cent…

Funny enough, Nicole starts yodelling during the first seconds of You Will Be Loved and she can actually do it! It fits the song, which is a nice R&B ballad we’re more used to from Nicole. The chorus is a bit bland with only the title words being sung, but that makes the lovely verses all the more interesting. The song has potential, I love the entire ambience the track has.

Wet sounds like a song that could really become a hit in the States (if only they’d like Nicole’s songs more). We’re back to the dance club style again, and I love the random percussion break right before the chorus. In that chorus, Nicole’s singing in a higher pitch, one thing she can do pretty well. This is just another dance song for me, although it has someting I like and that’s a bit unique.

Another RedOne creation on this album is Say Yes, and the hook is the catchiest part of the song, better than the chorus. The music becomes a bit of the same old, same old, but Nicole fixes everything with her wonderful vocals, perfect for these kind of tracks. This is a rather simple dance song, but yet it becomes quite catchy at some point and it’s quite likeable.

I didn’t like the title of Club Banger Nation at ALL, just like the way I don’t really like those unpersonal songs about club banging. And even though this is very unpersonal indeed, I was surprised Nicole has a certain Tina Turner flavor to her voice. The chorus was actually catchier than I first thought so maybe Nicole herself made this song a real stayer.

Finally tuning it down a bit with the first collaboration, a leaked track called Power’s Out (feat. Sting). I heard it about two years ago and I loved it immediately, also because it’s such an unlikely collaboration. I love Sting and his song with The Police back in the day, and he and Nicole were both magnificent here. Perfect song!

In Desperate Nicole displayed some very deep vocals, a bit lower pitched, and that vocal technique gave her voice so much more attitude. The lyrics in this song are beautiful and yet a bit sad, but set to a bit of an uptempo beat. The creation of the song is unique, it incorporates so many different elements. I really like this, and it should’ve been recognized by me earlier…

Nicole once made a song called ‘Everything’, which I totally adored but it wouldn’t have fit on the album. Instead, there’s Everybody, a slow song with a bass heavy beat and quite a mysterious undertone. I didn’t like the cheesy lyrics in the chorus, it ruined my perception of the entire song. The verses are very well done and they sound very nice, but the chorus is just bland. Such a bummer.

Such a shame we have a remix here: Heartbeat (Rudi Wells’ Open Heart Remix) (Enrique Iglesias feat. Nicole Scherzinger). The original song was fun, but also a bit bland, and now they made a remix for Nicole’s album. Lack of creativity perhaps? But well, that’s just my personal opinion. After a couple of listens, my heart doesn’t beat for this song anymore. A Part II would’ve been better…

Then we finally get back to the more heartfelt songs, Casualty is a very beautiful and slow song and I loved the percussion in this song so much. Nicole sings some lovely lyrics here with beautiful vocals, breathtakingly beautiful to be exact. It’s a simple song, but yet it can capture you in such a way you can’t stop listening to it. Makes up after two bland songs.

AmenJena actually means ‘peaceful paradise’, and it’s the closer for this album. It seems like the song lives up to the title, it only features a piano and lovely heartfelt vocals and it’s one of the songs that stay with you for quite some time after you stopped listening to the album. It’s a worthy closer for this album, and I really needed a simple and emotional song like this here. This is what I’d like to hear from Nicole!

I had my pros and cons with this album, it has its ups and downs if you ask me. First, I loved the first five tracks, the next three songs are a bit meh until Power’s Out (feat. Sting) comes. One good song, and then the most bland songs on the entire album came up. Luckily, the last two tracks made up for that. I like what Nicole delivered here, but only half of this was actually really good and worth multiple listens. Her earlier singles might have flopped, but personally I LOVED track such as ‘Whatever You Like (feat. T.I.)’ and ‘Baby Love (feat.’ a lot, I wanted to see them on this album because I loved the R&B style on Nicole so much more… I’m not entirely on the fence with this album, but after 6 years of work I would like to see a bit more variation in Nicole’s musical style. And I do not mean an instant switch from R&B/Urban to Dancepop…

Favorite songs: Poison | Killer Love | Don’t Hold Your Breath | Right There | You Will Be Loved | Power’s Out (feat. Sting) | AmenJena


3 stars

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