You’re here for the snark, so let’s get it out of the way first: Nicole Scherzinger told Billboard that new album Killer Love, presumably out in November, would be “a lot deeper than Pussycat Dolls.” Punchline-tastic! Even Billboard’s web producer (un?)intentionally snarked when they embedded “Don’t Hold Your Breath” right after Nicole talked up her “full-throttle” performances.
OK, so look. Nicole Scherzinger gets a lot of unnecessary flak. Sure, she seems to subsist less on air than on relentless self-promotion, but who in the music business doesn’t? Sometimes it comes from other sources, like her being in a burlesque troupe that wasn’t the cool kind of burlesque, or from her being in Eden’s Crush after its TV manufacturing process, as if other critical pop darlings (Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, others) didn’t, or as if bands assembled via TV were a completely ’00s phenomenon (ever heard of the Monkees?) It’s getting to the point where people can just mention Nicole Scherzinger and the derision’s packaged right in.
If you’re going to give Scherzinger flak, do it for real reasons: her lackluster singles, the fact that album-producer slate RedOne, Jim Jonsin, Tricky Stewart, Stargate and Ester Dean is bleedingly obvious, the fact that Nicole doesn’t even need to distance herself from a group that collected a couple of genuinely good songs. Check out “Hush Hush” again, switch the artist tag if you have to, and tell us this isn’t one of the better disco-revival songs this decade. Or “I Hate This Part.” Forget shameless self-promotion–the real shame is Scherzinger’s so intent on making herself so anonymously competent.