If our post yesterday didn’t quite hint at it enough, we’re quite big fans of Nicole Scherzinger. As a true pop-lover herself, she has provided us with many delicious pop moments with The Pussycat Dolls, our favourite being the insatiable ‘When I Grow Up’. This is not to mention the pure delight of her ‘Poison’ X Factor performance, one of our favourite singles ever released with ‘Try With Me’, and the sole ray of light on an otherwise awful season of X Factor, culminating in THAT mike-snatch from Jahmene in the final. So, really, we were always going to love the new single, ‘Boomerang’. However, it really is is quite something and here is why.
To help asses new releases here on Pop Fools, we are going to be using the following criteria: nonsensical chants, generic or does it sound like it is by artist X?, lyrics any good?, Production, Vocal effects, best bit, overall pop-foolishness rating.
Nonsensical chants: Present and correct, given centre-stage on the latter half of the chorus. They go something like this ‘OH-A-WH-OH-OH-OH-OA, WH-OH-OH-OH-OA, WH-OH-OH-OH-OA.’ Impressive efforts indeed.
Generic or does it sound like a Nicole single?: A bit too generic for our liking. The vocals do sound like Nicole but, providing less opportunities to show off her vocal range than something like ‘Try With Me’, the song doesn’t truly give her a chance to Scherzinger-stamp it. Which is a shame.
Lyrics any good?: Yes, yes they are. They revolve around Nicole likening herself to a boomerang; this is quite a good metaphor because we are going to assume it refers to Nicole’s many trials and tribulations in getting her solo career off the ground. This level of self-awareness is something we absolutely must have in our favourite popstars. We therefore like the fact that Nicole is making a promise to us poplovers everywhere that despite the fact that seemingly nobody is buying her singles or interested in her as a popstar any more (assumption based on Try With Me’s sluggish UK peak of #18 despite a prime promotion spot of X Factor performance and the non-release of US single ‘Pretty’), she is going to KEEP COMING BACK UNTIL WE SUBMIT AND BUY HER SINGLES.
An alternative viewing of the lyrics sees Nicole as a bit of a stalker who just won’t leave a guy alone. We like this idea too; we like our popstars to be slightly-deranged when it comes to matters of the heart.
The third (and worst) option is to view it as a feel-good anthem. Whilst some of the lines do stray into this territory (‘now I’m ten feet tall all my problems feel so small / nothing in my way to make me stay / no ceiling to my sky just open space to fly / Everytime I’m feeling down I turn it back around’), as this is the most boring (and literal) interpretation of the lyrics we will disregard it.
The best lyrical moment is probably “no ceiling to my sky” ; does anyone’s sky have a ceiling? Surely ceilings are an inside only feature. Lyrical use of “turbulance” is also amazing (how many pop songs could casually shoehorn that word in?) and we like the repeated statement that “I’m a boomerang” (I’m pretty sure that you’re a human being actually, Nicole) as well as assurances that “you can throw me now”, just because this seems a bit of a bizzare statement to make.
Production: Essentially a bit boring as it sounds too MOR-ish. The verses are amazing, the bridges are not very good – too many strings involved – but the chorus more than makes up for it what with all the repetition of ‘yeah’ in the background of the nonsensical chants. Whilst we appreciate the ‘poppy’ sound, at one point during the middle 8 (2:23) we are worried that the song is going to turn into Kelly Clarkson’s Catch My Breath. A good song for Kelly does not a good song for Nicole make. So overall the production is a bit generic for us.
Vocal effects: We like that the vocals are nicely processed without being OTT. Bits of the verses are perhaps a little low in pitch but then again that’s typical Nicole. We particularly appreciate the reverb on “Boomerang” at 2:23 and 2:30. One of our favourite parts of ‘Try With Me’ was a very similar vocal effect (on the word “shot” in the second chorus), so we are glad Nicole utilises this again.
Best-bit: We’re going to cheat a little here and name 2 bits of the song. The first 15 seconds are literally epic and full of excitement as for what is to come, and then the second half of the first chorus (0:40 – 1:02) when we first hear the ‘You can break my heart’ line is just pure perfection, followed by those chants. We will narrow it down; the ‘you can break my heart’ line is actually our favourite bit of the whole song. Amazing melody underpinning that particular section. Pop heaven right there.
Overall pop-foolishness rating: The chants and the continued metaphor usage, combined with the CGI video with many Nicoles, scores the song highly. However, points must be taken off for the lack of a Poison-style “NICOLE” on the introduction, and slightly uninspired production. Therefore Boomerang’s pop-foolishness rating is 8/10.
VERDICT: More than likely one of the best pop releases of the year. It should translate well onto the charts, having commercial appeal, although as ever with Nicole in the UK, we worry that the genius of the song may just go unnoticed by most of the chart-buying public, and that she should have released it whilst X Factor was still airing.