Cheryl Cole – Call My Name: Music Video Review

May 6th, 2012

Cheryl’s dropped all last names, nabbed a few lines off a french philosopher and means tropical print business in a video which, if released a few weeks earlier, probably would have gifted her back that FHM title off Tulisa.

We’ve seen a severe lack of Cheryl in the news recently, especially after the USA X-Factor dumping (which was probably for the best anyway considering how it hardly lit the reality tv world alight) and all the Ashley Cole rumours, but this was potentially a great move. Time to recuperate, regroup and re-focus on a solo career that arguably had more potential than it was given credit for.

Rush releasing albums is never particularly great and even the biggest global stars have issues through doing it (Rihanna recently being one example) so sophomore album Messy little Raindrops was bound to see a seismic shift downwards in terms of quality when it was geared up super-quick to be ready in time for the next series of the X-Factor.

Here’s the thing: regardless of vocal abilities, Cheryl has all the connections to make a good go of furthering her solo career because you can’t ignore that it’s not always what notes you know, but the people you know that can auto-tune those notes for you. Already for this third album, entitled “A Million Lights”, there’s been links to will.I.am (not suprising, he’s basically stalks her), Calvin Harris (understandable), hip-hop producer Alex Da Kid (she’ll be doing some dancing of the urban variety then), Rihanna (she loves a good collab does RiRi) and Lana Del flippin Rey, who’s meant to be doing a duet with Cheryl probably about doomed starlet WAGS or something. It’s all very exciting plus it’ll be interesting to see how this all goes without the constant publicity of explosions, plints, bullying accusations and novelty acts that come complete with the former reality TV behemoth, X Factor.

No point looking at lyrics because there isn’t much to go on. A Calvin Harris masterstroke seen previously in We Found Love, lots of sledgehammer beats (or should that be steel drum/wind chime beats in this case?) cover up the singer’s limited vocal range to allow them to spend more time doing what they do best. in Rihanna’s case it was ‘being controversial’ and throwing her drug-induced self around Northern Ireland whilst for Cheryl all the breakdown sections in call my name mean plenty of time to bust out those all important dance moves flanked by a dance troupe. very clever mr Harris, very clever indeed.

Opener for the video is basically the two teasers already released spliced together. We get wind chimes in a graffiti drenched tunnel where Cheryl finds herself after clearly forgetting where she parked the private yacht. Still, she’s got her tropical gladrags on so don’t mind her if she grinds the walls and struts alongside the sewage stream as if she’s at fashion show for the homeless. the bit that gets me everytime is the first shot of Cheryl outside, backcombed hair and jacket-ed up, with an army surplus fonted line stating ‘the Only Way’. now please tell me I’m not the only one who immediately thinks this’ll be followed by ‘Is Essex’ and suddenly we’ll see Cheryl breakdancing outside a tanning salon flashing her vajazzle at an Ashley Cole lookalike. no, in fact everything gets way more high-brow than the level of my mind and we’re rewarded with a slice of French gender philosophy from Marquis de Sade, a man Cheryl’s target audience no doubt have never heard of but will believe because he has a cool european name. ‘the only way to a woman’s heart is along the path of torment’ – de Sade being a big fan of S&M clearly, this statement has no doubt been implanted so we can all go ‘Ooooooh! I bet she’s talking about that scumbag ex of hers!’ when she probably isn’t.

What actually follows is fairly nondescript or at least to be expected. There’s obviously sexy Cheryl in the alley still grinding and hair-whipping as if her life depends on it (they should turn this into a fitness class – the Apprentice missed a trick the other week). aside from that, we get Dancer Cheryl, busting the moves in more tropical neon with four lads in that place everyone uses where they did the road race in Grease, Glam Cheryl in a glass box (wearing far too much make-up may I add not helped by the pink/blue mood lighting) and stock car Racer Cheryl in black and white driving around the dark streets proving that maybe she has some form of OCD where she can’t walk/drive past an upright brick surface without caressing it. Reminds me of that women who married the Eiffel Tower, maybe Cheryl will get hitched and be called Cheryl Graffiti-Wall in time for the next album…

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty – will this video sell the song? yes and no. yes, Cheryl looks extremely attractive, adorned in on-trend fashions and that’ll no doubt perk up some interest (as it already has done) but I fear that, with a release date all the way in June, this was sent out too early. If the radio stations pick up on it in a great way then there’s hope for this going straight in at number one on the basis that it’s Cheryl’s comeback. At worst, her departure from the spotlight and a lack of potential publicity outlets may come back to dampen the mood and scupper this album campaign. the song itself is extremely catchy, especially on repeated listens, largely thanks to Calvin Harris’ caribbean bombastic rhythms, which will go down a treat for summer playlists, and Cheryl’s enthusiasm and energy in this are refreshing after all the drama last year. what remains to be seen is if Cheryl can sustain interest long enough to impact on the charts come June, solely on the basis of her as an artist, not as an X-Factor judge or the victim of Stuck-In-A-Complicated-Relationship tabloid tales.

Cheryl Cole – Call My Name: Music Video Review

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