REVIEW: Cher Lloyd’s Activated is like a prologue of a book – a fantastic introduction, just not a lead single

Cher Lloyd - Activated

On Thursday, Cher Lloyd dropped her brand new single titled ‘Activated’ exclusively via Rolling Stone, and I’m not even going to admit how many times I’ve listened to the song over the past few days.

Upon first listen to the single, my first impression was… this is different to what I expected. For some reason, I think I was subconsciously expecting a big ballad like Sirens that would be totally radio friendly and blow up the airwaves. Activated isn’t a song that will work for everybody – people will either love it, or they just won’t care for it.

If anything, Activated shows how versatile an artist Cher Lloyd is, as it’s not like any other song we’ve had from her in the past. Activated does have a very mature feel to it, it feels as though Cher Lloyd put a lot of herself into the track, and it definitely feels like she is going for an R&B feel. Having said that, it feels as though she’s mashed R&B and Pop together, as the chorus is more catchy pop and the verses are R&B-inspired.

Cher Lloyd - Activated

Although the single is very different, one thing that still remains is that Cher has as much swagger as she’s ever had. The swagger and the attitude that we all fell in love with all those years back on The X factor is still there.

But, here’s the thing… when an artist has been away for just over 2 years like Cher Lloyd has, I listen carefully to the first single they put out from their new album. It’s almost like a first impression, and let’s face it, people do say first impressions count. A lead single gives us an insight into what we could potentially expect from an album, it’s a presentation of what is to come. A lead single needs to be big, it needs to be catchy, it needs to pull people in. For me, Activated is not a lead single, and I just want to reassure you that is not a bad thing. Stick with me with this one…

When I say that I don’t think Activated is lead single material, it’s because when I listen to the song, I feel as though Cher is talking to her fans. This is a memo from Cher to her fans to say she is back and she is stronger than ever rather than a lead single for the wider world. If you listen to the lyrics in Activated, Cher Lloyd tells us that she has taken some time away, she is fully “Charged Up” and she has just “Activated” the next chapter in her career. It’s a reintroduction, which is something Cher explained in her interview with Rolling Stone. “It’s a new phase. Everything is about to change,” she explained. It has been 2 years since Cher split with Syco, and she’s never had a much freedom over her music as she does now, and I feel that Activated is more about Cher reintroducing herself as a slightly renewed artist, things are different, it’s a new phase in her career, she has control over literally everything this time around. Cher wanted to be honest with her fans, and she wanted it to come from the heart.

Cher Lloyd - Activated

One of the ways that I thought about it was that Activated is like the prologue of a book – it gives us some background and it introduces what is to come; it sets things up nicely for us to continue without feeling all confused. Sometimes, if you go straight into reading a book without reading the prologue, it can be a bit confusing. Thus, I feel as though Activated is the prologue of the next phase in Cher’s career… it’s a fantastic introduction, but not quite the first Chapter. In music terms, it’s a good buzz single, but not quite the lead single.

It is no way a bad thing that I don’t think Activated is quite the lead single, as I think it’s a good thing. Activated reintroduces Cher with a new sound. Look at it with the book analogy – if we got a new album from Cher with a brand new sound, some of us may be a bit confused. But, with the prologue (otherwise known as Activated), it gives us some background, it sets us up for what is to potentially come. I think the next single Cher releases should be the true lead single that can fire up the airwaves on radio on both sides of the Atlantic.

Activated is a little note to Cher’s fans to let them know she is back and to prepare themselves for the BANG that is about to come.

Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, below…

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Nick Barnes

Nick is the Assistant Editor at Unreality TV, along with being a full-time Beyoncé obsessor! Email him at nick@unrealitytv.co.uk or catch him on Twitter @ImNickBarnes