Nicole Scherzinger has appeared on numerous hit singles as a member of girl groups the Pussycat Dolls and Eden’s Crush—and even inspired another one by her then-fiancé’s rock band—but she’s still yet to have a hit on her own stateside, where her solo career has been slow to take off. Debut album Killer Love, originally supposed to be released back in 2007 (!!), was finally released a few months ago overseas, where it has already spawned a pair of hits in “Poison” and “Don’t Hold Your Breath.” But in the US, it’s the 50 Cent-assisted “Right There—whose video was just released to the internet—that has been tabbed as the lead single, with hopes that it can finally provide Nicole with her long-delayed breakout in her home country.
Though we’re generally fans of Nicole’s here at Popdust, and we have high hopes for her rumored hosting gig on Simon Cowell’s singing competition export The X Factor, we don’t think this new song is gonna be the one to break her into the U.S. Top 40. The hook is catchy but severely uninspring (“Right there / Keep it right there / I love it when you put it right there”), while the verses suffer from Nicole’s unnecessary attempt to give the song a sort of Caribbean flavor (or just echoes of the far-more-successful Rihanna) with her overuse of the phrase “Me like,” as well as from ridiculous and lazy lyrics like “I like the way that you talk dirty / Don’t wash your mouth out, I like it dirty.” And while grabbing 50 Cent for a phoned-in guest verse might still have been a recipe for success when Killer Love recording started back in 2005, in 2011 it’s just not gonna cut it.
Meanwhile, the Paul Hunter-directed video is basically an excuse for Nicole to go digging in her closet for her strangest and most exotic ensembles while dancing around the “concrete urban paradise” of downtown LA. She looks hot, because, well, she’s Nicole Scherzinger, but there’s nothing here to recommend it over MTV pulling out the old clips for “Don’t Cha” or “Buttons.” And that lingering shot of a bottle of Belvedere vodka for no reason…what, did the video’s wardrobe budget really necessitate a product-placement discount? Or are we just openly peddling for endorsement deals now?