I have to admit to not being particularly interested when I heard Nicola was releasing a solo album; but in retrospect that had nothing to do with her abilities and a lot more to do with Cheryl's and Nadine's lacklustre solo efforts. Cheryl's debut album had a couple of decent tracks but her sophomore effort was dull. And Nadine's album was totally unremarkable and instantly forgettable. So, I realised I came to Nicola's album expecting another soulless, over-produced piece of pop fluff.
I had not heard either of Nicola's singles from this album and, subsequently, when Beat of My Drum started playing I thought my initial thoughts were being proved correct. While the track is quirky vocally I felt it was like Steps-on-acid. My thoughts didn't improve when Lucky Day started...but then something strange started to happen as Lucky Day was playing: I realised I was actually really enjoying the song and her quirky vocals. From that point something in my head clicked and the rest of the album was simply stunning. The day it arrived I played it non-stop and I can honestly say that it's one of the best albums I've heard this year. As another reviewer mentioned: there are definite elements of Kate Bush (who, in my opinion, is the best female recording artist of all time); but there are also touches of Girls Aloud and people such as Katy Perry and Eliza Dolittle. This is not to say that this isn't totally Nicola's album, because it's a very personal piece of work and one I think she should be incredibly proud of. She really has proven that she is the one with the talent. Hopefully, if you read this Nicola, you will be happy with this reviewer's "comments on the internet". Even thought I think the weakest tracks have been released as singles, this album deserves to be a massive hit! Standout tracks: Cinderella's Eyes, I, Sticks + Stones, Take a Bite and Porcelain Heart.