IT’S TIME…TO FACE…THE MUSIC. Unfortunately. And I use the word ‘music’ in the loosest sense of the word. There’s more panache in a monophonic ring-tone or a microwave than there is on the entirety of The Female Boss.
Pop music is fine and well, but can Tulisa inject some of that ‘originality’ she’s been scouring the nation for, or is her debut another tawdry karaoke turd? For those of you who are unaware as to what exactly a ‘female boss’ might be, Tulisa enlightens on ‘Intro’ – an 80 second piano-led spoken word mantra for tools, where T says “derr is an innah byooty about a woman who believes in herself”. She goes on: “she is strong when she is weak, she is brave when she is scared” – now then Tulisa, what you’ve done there is combine some completely incompatible characteristics. It’s a bit like saying “this album is good when it is bad” – so very, very bad.
‘Young’ is a fairly horrible slice of unimaginative Ibiza cheese appeasing the mistakes that come with youth – but somehow it’s the album highlight. Then ‘Live It Up’ appears to be an irritating ode to binge-drinking, which seems quite fitting. Like the rest of the The Female Boss it’s a string of worn clichés held together by a chirping sample which is so repetitive that you need a strong drink just to get through it. Respite comes with the refreshing arpeggiator intro to ‘Damn’, before ‘British Swag’ allows Tulisa to channel what she keeps referring to her ‘urban roots’ in a horrendous mockney lullaby inviting an imaginary American audience to hang out with some British gangstah’s.
Essentially, Tulisa is like a Primark Rihanna – or a Prihanna, if you will. It smacks of desperation, and it sucks, in general.
By the time you reach the disco-dump ‘Kill Me Tonight’ (an aggressively assured Pussycat Dolls carbon copy) and the lamentful ballads ‘Counterfeit’ and ‘Sight of You’ (which could easily have been rejected as Jessie J b-sides) you’re worn down by that gurning X-Factor inevitability.
“Remember,” pines Tulisa on the merciful ‘Outro, “if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.” It wasn’t OK, and the end would have been better about 15 tracks ago. Great pop is out there. This is not it.