Proof Singer Cher Lloyd Has Matured a Lot Between "Swagger Jagger" & "Sirens"
Scrappy English singer Cher Lloyd premiered a new single from her upcoming sophomore album, Sorry I’m Late, this past weekend called, “Sirens.” You may remember Lloyd from her last U.S. hit, “Want U Back,” a catchy but juvenile track with a chant-along chorus that infiltrated radio waves back in 2012. But with “Sirens,” an emotional mid-tempo love song, Lloyd tries out a much more refined, mature sound — and it totally works! Let’s take a quick look at the singer’s transformation from bratty pop starlet to sophisticated balladeer (err, almost — she still has a song on her upcoming album called, "Dirty Love").
"Swagger Jagger" (2011)
Lloyd exploded onto the music scene in 2011 after finishing fourth on the seventh series of The X Factor U.K. Her debut single, “Swagger Jagger,” is a bratty, grating kiss-off to “the haters.” Lyrically, the song's an immature cliché fest: “Swagger jagger, swagger jagger, you should get some of your own! Count that money, get your game up! You’re a hater, just let it go!” And then there’s the music video. Lloyd and her pack of rowdy youths look like they’re auditioning for a 21st century reboot of Kids Incorporated . It’s no wonder that Lloyd’s fans are known as “brats.”
"Want U Back" (2012)
Shortly after “Swagger Jagger,” Lloyd released the ridiculously infectious, “Want U Back,” which went on to become her first top 10 hit in the United States. Lyrically, Lloyd moved on from telling off anonymous haters to something that's a little easier to relate to: breakups! Sonically, the song’s very much in line with Lloyd’s debut album, the aptly titled, Sticks + Stones, but if you check out the music video, you’ll notice that her styling is a little more subdued. C'mon, I said "a little"!
"I Wish" (2013)
Lloyd took a break after “Want U Back,” finally returning last September with “I Wish” featuring rapper T.I. The song served as the official lead single from Lloyd’s upcoming sophomore album. What a difference a couple of years makes! A major departure from the slick teen pop of Sticks + Stones, “I Wish” has a cool, retro sound and a music video that finds Lloyd looking a little more grown-up and sexy. (She also got a new set of chompers, serving a bit of Mr. Wilson realness.)
And that brings us to today! With “Sirens,” Lloyd completes her musical evolution from spunky rugrat to mature adult. She's got real things to say and actual stories to tell. How refreshing! Over a steady kick drum and a backdrop of strumming guitars, Lloyd’s voice absolutely soars on the song's massive chorus as she sings about wanting to escape the weight of the world and just lie down with her lover:
Lay down here beside me in the shallow waterBeside me where the sun is shining on us stillLay down here beside me in the hallowed waterBeside me where the silver lining stays untilThe siren's calling
Now that I’m thinking about it, the song’s sentiment is actually kind of similar to Snow Patrol’s breakthrough 2006 hit, “Chasing Cars.” Who doesn't want to "press pause" on life every once in a while and just take a break?
“Sirens” is produced by the legendary team of Rami Yacoub and Carl Falk, the two men behind some of One Direction’s catchiest ditties (“What Makes You Beautiful,” “Kiss You,” etc.). I don't know for sure that Lloyd will be able to turn her newfound mature sound into another stateside hit, but in my opinion, "Sirens" is definitely a step in the right direction. My fingers are crossed!
Check out “Sirens” via YouTube below! Lloyd’s sophomore album, Sorry I’m Late, is due out on May 27 via Epic Records.