What’s less popular than the lovechild of Rebekah Brooks and John Galliano? Cher Lloyd’s debut single, ‘Swagger Jagger’, that’s what. Example calls it “the biggest crime since she got a record deal”. Diplo insists – “for the love of God”, no less – that he had sod all to do with it. Even Tom from The Wanted thinks it’s not much cop, scoffing: “It’s like a nursery rhyme.”
Now, disses from Eggers and Dippers we’ll accept, but an insult from one of the sodding Wanted? That pushed us over the edge. We knew right then that we’d have to stick up for Cher and her poor little piss-ripped ditty.
So OK, we’ll start by stating what Lord Sugar is wont to call Ver Bleedin’ Obvious. ‘Swagger Jagger’ is not a very good record. Even Fearne Cotton would struggle to declare it “AMAZING!!!” But yet – and this is quite an achievement for a track, lest we forget, that’s actually called ‘Swagger Jagger’ – neither is it entirely hopeless.
Yes, its very existence screams “persecution complex”. Yes, it features an assortment of lyrical titbits that are stale to the point of having snot-green mould sprouting from their extremities – we’re looking at you “haters“, “get your game up” and “get on the floor“, sorry “flohuh”.
Yes, the (not so) modish reference to something called “You-Tubing” snags the ear in much the same way as an earring clawed from your lobe during a cat-fight.
But, even allowing for the record exec-ed mess of a video, doesn’t Much Maligned of Malvern pull at least some of this off? She gives at least as good Fergie as Fergie does these days (and with rather less assistance from Auto-Tune) and we bet, if we were to organise a televised grab-your-thatch-off for E4, she’d absolutely smash J-J-Jessie J.
Of course, there’s no getting over that nicked-off-a-nursery rhyme chorus, which we wouldn’t hesitate to call an abomination were it not for a nagging feeling that we really ought to save that word for wars, travesties of justice, phone-hacking scandals and the like.
Even the arms-in-the-air tranceyness of the final 30 seconds – which probably would, after a White Lightning or two, succeed in getting most of us on the floh-uh – isn’t enough to make us forgive and forget.
OK then. Deep breath. Count to ten… Ultimately what ‘Swagger Jagger’ suggests is that Cher Lloyd hasn’t quite worked out who she is yet – then again, how many 17-year-olds have? – but it also shows, for better or worse, that she’s already someone worth talking about.
She may be rougher round the edges than a trainee beautician’s first attempt at a back, sack and crack, but whatever those “haters” might call her – petulant, self-obsessed, several politically incorrect slurs we’re not mentioning here because we’re not the bloody Daily Mail – they can’t claim she’s boring.
For that reason alone, she’s already a step ahead of most graduates from USC (University of Simon Cowell).