Saturday, 24 November 2012

Pop Corner: Tulisa - The Female Boss


Every year there's an album that stands out above all others. The Female Boss by Tulisa would be that album if I was a 14 year old that believes Skrillex is the founder of electronic music. In reality, The Female Boss is nothing more than another stain on the British music scene. It's the match your team loses after winning the league. In other words, it's not important.

Tulisa Contostavlos entered our minds as one third of N-Dubz. If you don't know who N-Dubz are, then lucky you. The sheer idiocy of chief vocalist Dappy made it incredibly difficult to listen and appreciate N-Dubz from a neutral perspective. Dappy wore woolly hats and was known lyrically to be both authentically brilliant and typically awful. For example, his trademark: "Na na na na naa eeeeeeeeee." Tulisa was basically the girl in the background that went onto 'judge' XFactor. If you don't what XFactor is, then again... Lucky you.

Optimism kicks in when listening to the opening track "Intro", then Tulisa starts talking. She talks of grrl power and all that self-appreciation baloney I can't stand. The following track "Young" is a dance-pop tune that's ideal for clubs, I guess. It wasn't written by Tulisa, which isn't surprising given the tracks stance as the lead single. You know I can't stand songs written by groups of people, a writing team as such. All Tulisa needs to do is sing respectably, which she does and BANG, a number one, sickening when you come to think about how simple this is.

Regarding The Female Boss, Tulisa said: "I want to prove myself this year, more than ever, as a musician." I think the term musician needs to be defined for her, because she doesn't play a musical instrument. I do not consider the voice an instrument unless it's used in extraordinary ways such as Mongolian throat singers, Icelandic soundscapers and American glitch/sample artists. It's why tracks like "Live It Up" and "Damn" fail to make an impact. The lack of instrumentation has been the persecutor of pop music. She misses the significant gap in the market that other 'chart' artists bolster, such as Gotye, Adele and Ed Sheeran. There's nothing worse than an album comprised of electronic beats, synths and clapping with heavily effected vocals. For that and that reason alone, The Female Boss can never be considered a 'good' album. Where's the musicianship gone in today's music? Well I tell you what, it's still there and I hope one day the British buyers embrace an artist that can actually be considered a musician.

The I hits the Q as she throws around words like 'urban' and 'swag'. "British Swag" has to be the worst track I've heard since "Whip My Hair" by Willow Smith. I would go as far as to say Smith's repetitive hook: "I whip my hair back and forth," is better than Tulisa's: "I know you love my accent darling. I got that British British swag, that British British swag." Whilst we're on the topic of cheesy pop songs, I'd rather listen to Rebbecca Black's "Friday" and Justin Bieber's "Baby" than be put through another three minutes of Tulisa's "British Swag". Not one positive comes out of this track...

Two things I hate in music: The overuse (or just the use...) of the word swag and misusing the word 'dubstep'. Tulisa commits both of these crimes throughout this album. Using the word swag in recorded music is like admitting how unoriginal of an artist you actually are. Ooohhh SWAG, YOLO!!! etc...

Well The Female Boss isn't the worst album I've ever heard, but it could could possibly be the worst album I've heard so far this year. "Counterfeit" actually has a nice melody and I think Tulisa comes into her own as the emotionally needy female artist with the synthesized piano. "Sight of You" is another example of Tulisa in her zone. This is where she belongs, singing 'emotional' ballad-esque tracks. A few improvements, raise the 'real' instrumentation, drop the synth heavy beat and have her write her own songs 100% independently. 

There's a mixed bag of material on The Female Boss. As a judge on a 'talent' show, I think Tulisa should know her positives and negatives. Her work with N-Dubz was awful, it really was... Her louder, dance-type tracks on this album are just as bad as the fake grime tracks with Dappy. "Kill Me Tonight", "Visa" and "I'm Ready" are the tracks I would scrap and send to Ke$ha, the production team and management team behind Tulisa should shape her into a diva, another Kylie Minogue... A figure... A teenager's role model. Unfortunately this album isn't really what I think she expected it to be. If I was the man behind marketing Tulisa as a product, I wouldn't of had her sing tracks like "British Swag" and "Young", the ballad material suits her and with her new found fanbase through XFactor, this is what would work for her. As for this albums content, it's not really worth my time. It's pop at heart with dance features but overall it's the work of 'the machine'.
~Eddie

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