This month I’m featuring my top 20 albums of the past decade, to celebrate 10 years of This Must Be Pop! Click here to see all the Decade of Pop posts so far.
Cher Lloyd is not the perfect pop star, but she created by far the best X Factor album of all time with Sticks and Stones. When Cher starred on X Factor 2010, she achieved fourth place by performing like an international superstar when she was just a kid from the country. I chose her first single Swagger Jagger as my Most Poptastic Single of 2011, and it gave her a number one hit, but in the long-term it turned out to be a mistake. I loved its obnoxiousness, but sadly many people are offended or intimidated by confident, unapologetic pop stars, especially when they are young and female.
Because they were distracted by Swagger Jagger, many people who had appreciated Cher on The X Factor never gave Sticks and Stones a chance, and they really missed out. In my opinion, there isn’t a weak track on this album, so it’s hard to pick favourites. Any song could have been a single – Grow Up, Over The Moon, Dub On The Track… I could go on. It’s not just that the music is brilliantly written and produced, but Cher performs every part with energy and personality. If her next album is even 10% as good I’ll be happy.