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4.5 out of 5 stars108
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 25 June 2012
Cher Lloyd, X Factor finalist and pop starlet made an incredible pop record - hard to believe huh?. I say this because I clearly remember a bratty Cher bragging about 'haters' and random stuff right over the end of 2010, which left a bad taste in my mouth.

After a couple of months, she finally unleashed what would be her exquisite debut: 'Swagger Jagger'. The track oozed confidence and, fronted by a colourful image and catchy semi-hip hop beats mixed with heavy synths it definitely won my heart over and the UK's too - scoring herself a #1 smash hit on the back of it. 'With Ur Love', the album's -which was yet untitled back then- 2nd single was a creamy, pastel painted song that features US's Mike Posner, adding some extra flavour to it. Think a bump and grind background track with a carrousel tune and pulsating beats and there you have it - Cher, yet again, managed to captive the public whilts continuing her range of Top 5 hits with it. By this time, I was in complete love with that unnamed and soon to be released album. Gagging for it, her record company unleashed the rightly titled 'Sticks + Stones', addressing Cher's media criticisms and making some contrast with a playful, almost cartoony, album cover.

I remember the day I first got the album in my hands, I was excited and I didn't know what to expect besides the already released singles and found out some true pop gems in this particular listening journey. By that time, I was going to graduate from Med school, so I highly associate the bittersweet undertones of the record with that particular time of my life. I put the record in my car and 'Grow Up' came up, a sizzling semi-rap with a playful tune which is easily hummable and memorable after the very first time you hear it. Busta makes a brief and whirlwind-esque appeareance but his presence takes it to a next level and leaves you wanting some more, even by this casual rap fan. One of the album's highlight 'Want U Back', the 3rd single and Cher US' debut is bubblying up as Track 2 in 'Sticks + Stones'. It includes a catchy, fast handclap rhythm and a trademark 'Grrr' between all the verses - on top of that a stormer of a Chorus finding Cher beggind his ex lover to come back into her life because she's pretty jealous, ending altogether with our girl imitating an helicopter (random shizzle, but true fun is not easy to find nowadays in pop records). The 2 lead singles (Tracks 3 & 4) are followed by a guitar driven ballad coupled with Carolina Liar's feature - it is a bit slow and hard to swallow at first, especially considering the fast pace we had in the last couple of minutes - but when it sinks, it does fit inside the overall feeling of the album. Its very own highligh is Miss Lloyd's showcase of gorgeous vocals, that are commonly hidden by her for no particular reason.

By this time, I was at the middle of listening to the album, thinking the highlights were already pointed out but, oh boy, I was wrong. The sixth track 'Playa Boi' (borrowing from Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance) is a synth heavy, battery fueled song. Fast, aggresive and bubbly at the same time, it has a metal sound going up and down all over the song and leaves you with the desire of pressing the 'repeat' button. I say 'leaves you', because Track 7 'Superhero', stops it clear from happening. 'Superhero' is a funky, semi 60's, strings and all included, delicious song where Lloyd screams she's not even her very own heroine to save her from the fraud her man is. The ending is hopeful and with a modest fading, making you to repeat the listening experience to hear her speak either about the brief love story spoken or her highly humour filled rap bridge (I kick you with a kung fu kick!). Track 8, the theme park sounding influenced 'Over the moon' is fluffy and easy on the ears, but it somehow falls into the category of faux-christmas song - maybe because of the time it was released or its playful carole-esque sounds. Track 9 is 'Dub on the track', Cher's take on the current move of dubstep and the collaboration between some of UK's most famous underground hip hop artists - it is quick and with a dirty electro semi-synth on the background, coupled with the aforementioned dubstep influences of the times. I arrived at Track 10 and thought 'Sticks + Stones' was a mish mash at best, but 'End Up Here' flicked my thoughts and rearranged the idea of the showcase of sounds this record is. Lloyd helped to pen up this gem, an RnB crafted ship of harmonies that speaks and sings with heartache about cheating in young relationships. The lyrics might be a bit näive for a girl of her age, but if you hear the sentiment behind the vocals, you'll get my drift. The midtempo tune double teams with the gorgeous melody soaring from start to end - that and those 'I don't want to shed a tear' attitude lyrics whilts she almost sounds like crying in the chorus' harmonies is going to sell the song to the hardest of the hearts. The CD stops spinning in my record player and starts all over, while sunset was setting on me and arriving home.

Either I'm a bit biased (maybe is the feeling the album gave me through December of that year) or I was blinded by the Pop masterpieces created and performed by this little girl that gives everything she sings a bit of nostalgic factor. All I can say is, if you're willing to have some fun and sing along to some true well made Pop - this album is for you. Be sure to not miss out on this one.
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on 27 November 2011
I didn't follow Cher Lloyd on X-Factor, didn't watch the show, but saw her audition on YouTube and thought she was good. Didn't like first single Swagger Jagger but downloaded Talkin' That when it was free on Amazon and it grew on me. Liked her second single and after listening to excerpts of the album when it was released, bought it and think it's a very good first album. I like her voice and the different tones and inflections she brings out.
She won't be everyones cup of tea but it's nice to see someone with talent bring out their own album with new songs that are great rather than an album full of covers. Well done Cher.
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on 10 October 2012
Having just purchased the American edition of "Sticks & Stones" for the amazing new single "Oath", i feel i had to write a review as it seems to me that the American edition is much stronger than the original British version of the album. My feelings on each track are as follows:

WANT U BACK: The original, solo version of the track, which is the best out of all the versions, in my opinion. No need for any additional rapping from the likes of Snoop Dogg or Astro on this one. Perfect as it is. (10/10) GROW UP FT. BUSTA RHYMES: A nice catchy stuck-in-your-head kind of chorus and a good verse from Busta show a glimpse of Cher's urban side. However, for those who like the lighter, more pop-style Cher, this may not be for you. (8/10) WITH UR LOVE: An all-new, solo version of the track, and by removing the awful Mike Posner, the Americans have done what we failed to do, and make this track just 100% perfect. Play this one loud and you will feel a sense of satisfaction. (10/10) BEHIND THE MUSIC: One of the new tracks exclusive to the American edition. It's pretty good for what it is, but for me it doesn't quite stand up to the slightly more powerful anthem "Beautiful People". Good effort though. (8/10) OATH FT. BECKY G: Possibly Cher's best track to date. Becky and Cher work well together to produce a song about love and friendship with a twist. Check out the cool video for this too - Cher and Becky really do prove themselves to be the next generation of popstars. (10/10).

SWAGGER JAGGER: The less said about this awful drivel the better. (0/10) BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE FT. CAROLINA LIAR: Perhaps my favourite of the non-single tracks. A beautiful heartwarming ballad that blends the voices of both Cher and the lead singer of Carolina Liar together in beautiful harmony. Deserves to be a single. (10/10). PLAYA BOI: A nice, uptempo love anthem. Cher's ability to portray the typical soppy ballad style lyrics in such a unique, modern fashion makes her stand out from the crowd. Also a fantastic piece that deserves to be a single. (10/10) SUPERHERO: Superhero shows a different side to Cher - the nerd side. Nothing like a chorus that shouts about wearing colourful capes and saving the world. A good effort but perhaps overshadowed by the other tracks on the album. (8/10) END UP HERE: Cher's emotions come out good and fast on this track. For me it just needed a little more oomph to get it off the ground. Starts well but continues in a similar fashion pretty much throughout the song. (8/10)

And if you managed to get the exclusive Target Deluxe edition, you'll find: TALKIN' THAT: Um, no. No wonder this didn't make the cut of the main album. It's not as bad as "Swagger Jagger", but it has no real substance and the repetition of the same lyrics throughout the track just don't quite cut it. (3/10). OVER THE MOON: Catchy urban-style track with a nice boppy hook. Should of been on the main album instead of Swagger Jagger, as it managed to make the main album in Britain. "I'm over the m-ooo--oon!" (8/10).

So all in all, a wonderful effort from Cher in an attempt to crack the American market. Remove "Swagger Jagger" and "Talkin' That" and you'd have pretty much a perfect album with a lovely range of different genres, showing both the mainstream pop-side and the perhaps darker, more urban side to one of Britain's finest exports in years.
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on 18 April 2012
I didn't expect much for this album to be honest, but my mum has loved Cher since she appeared on the X-Factor so I pre-ordered it.

Well it is amazing and is ideal for me. I must warn you that it is teen-pop and the album's singles give a great idea of what the album is like...EXCEPT Swagger Jagger which was purely for effect!

Stand out tracks include:

Beautiful People - which is heartfelt, calm but still so catchy.

End Up Here - a fantastic pop number, but also very true and from the soul. Cher wrote this herself, and that shows. Well done to her for experimenting!

Player Boi - pure pop and oh so fast and catch. My personal favourite!

And all the singles are great.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't be put off if you like pop, this album is great with amazing longevity. BUT IF you are expecting ballads and 10 soulful songs, don't buy it.

I said it was teen pop, but it is basically sugary pop, so don't let that put you off. My 40year old parents love it!

I hope this helps. :)
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on 20 June 2013
This is the first album from X-factor runner up CHER LOYD which includes the smash hits
swagger Jagger , want you back & with Ur love, when i first bought this i was weary that like other albums it would have a few good songes and the rest would let the album down, but this album does not let down, every song on this album is just as good and as addictive as the one before, this is one of the best albums i have bought and heard i a very long time. I bought mine when it first came out and after my son listened to it I had to buy a second copy for my son.
cher Loyd is fantastic and a great artist who gives great performances on every track and never lets down.
one of the best albums ever made and i would buy it again.
I cant wait for the new album to come out and if it is have as good as the first it will be fantastic.
cher loyd is th whole package.
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on 20 January 2012
I bought this CD for my 7 year old daughter, loves this album of Cher Lloyd best buy ever, I enjoy listening to it in the car too. Great Album... Great price too @ £5.99, this album is much better than I expected lots of fab songs.
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on 24 January 2012
This album is cool! Not a track skipped! They're all amazing & catchy, THIS IS AN UNDERRATED ALBUM! Way too many haters keep putting her down, she is good! If she hadn't came from X Factor, I think the approach would have been totally different.
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on 6 July 2012
I followed Cher on the X Factor and was impressed by her strong vocals but disliked her personality. I liked Swagger Jagger, for some reason, and thought I'd give the album a go as I enjoy artists who mix up rap and singing.
The artwork is really nice and pops out in the store - she's adapted a quirky, almost childish style that suits her and is a definite improvement.
Every single song on here is very catchy. After a few listens, 'Grow Up' began to become annoying along with 'Over the Moon', but they're still good songs if you don't listen to them too often. The rest are really good, very diverse and in her style, you can tell she had an input into every track, which is nice in comparison to several other X Factor contestants, mentioning no names (ahem! 1D.)
'Beautiful People' is a lovely song, which reminds you of how strong a voice Cher really possesses, and how much emotion she can put into it.
As a personality, I think Cher can sometimes come across as cocky, as she did on the X Factor to me, but the fact is she works hard and has got a talent for singing, and I was very impressed with this album. It was given to me along with Rihanna's Talk That Talk, and I must say that although I love Rihanna, I was more impressed with Cher's album.
Definitely buy this, give her a try and you could be surprised! With the amount of positive reviews, I think it's proven that this album is generally impressing unsure buyers.
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on 24 January 2012
amazing it arrived just before I went on holiday took it with me and listened for hours, fantastic album love it too bits
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on 2 February 2012
I loved Cher on x factor, especially when she sang 'stay' but when swagger jagger came out I was disappointed. I liked her other singles 'with ur love' and 'want u back'. I decided to buy her album to see what it's like. It does sound a bit childish but she is only 17! I think she has made a good first album and it Definitley shows the real her. I think
People should give her a break
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