And now, despite my better judgment, I find myself capitulating to Cher Lloyd, the British teenager who’s currently perking up the radio with “Want U Back:”
This song is silly and Lloyd’s British accent is as thick as golden syrup, but dammit, it’s really appealing.
I mean, there’s no indication that Lloyd is a talent for the ages. She’s a Ke$ha-rapping over the track, not really singing, and she didn’t even write the dumb lyrics about an ex-boyfriend taking his new girl to “every restaurant.” Like, every restaurant. Probably even Medieval Times.
Plus, Lloyd is a product of X Factor U.K., just like Murs, Ferguson, One Direction, and the rapidly-receding memory of Leona Lewis. If history is any indication, that show is probably going to generate two big stars in America, tops, and chances are good it won’t be Every Restaurant.
But still! Lloyd at least puts playful personality on top of the song. After she sings some of the lines, she does this weird little grunt—Uhhh!—to emphasize her awesomeness, and it makes her seem like a authentically goofy teenager and not a preternaturally sophisticated “teen star.” There’s an endearing innocence about her that makes her seem relatable in that Jepsen kind of way.
And like I said, “Want U Back” is great ear candy. I don’t know why it wasn’t a bigger hit in Britain—it peaked at #25, while Lloyd’s horrible first single topped the charts—but I’m glad America has gotten over itself enough to embrace it. Even if it seems assured that the song will be Lloyd’s only brush with success in our country, I can’t complain too much about its disposability while it’s making me swivel my hips.
Plus, I might be wrong. Cher Lloyd might become a major international star with a lasting career. (Did anyone think “Pon De Replay” made Rihanna seem like a superstar in training?) So if she continues blowing up, I will happily retract all my dismissive remarks and join the world in shouting Cher’s name. No, not that Cher. The new Cher. Uhhh!
Previously: Olly Murs will be your impish, singing boyfriend
Mark Blankenship tweets as @IAmBlankenship. He promises he isn’t using this website to apply for British citizenship under the I Really Like Your Music Act.