WHOEVER stage-managed the rise of Cheryl Cole’s celebrity career is to be congratulated (or blamed) for pulling off such a feat of artful window-dressing.
But the fact that her paymasters have waited until her third solo album before investing in this debut A Million Lights tour hardly inspires confidence in her ability to front a big budget pop presentation.
It probably goes without saying that Cole is a poor singer. Autotune and loud backing vocals (both live and pre-recorded) were her friend in that regard, but when she did sing without the aid of a safety net, on the verses of The Flood for example, she sounded tentative and wobbly.
The same could be said of her dancing. She worked hard to hit her mark and keep up with her dancers’ fluent groove but was just not skilled enough to let go and immerse herself in delivering a performance. Watching her move self-consciously around the stage felt a bit like waiting for a novice model to trip up in her stilleto heels.
Cole was entirely ill-equipped to deliver a big diva ballad but that didn’t stop her having a bash with the mediocre melodrama of A Million Lights, during which she rotated on an elevated podium like the plastic dancer in a musical box.
A brief medley of Girls Aloud hits only highlighted the paucity of personality and lack of wit and playfulness in Cole’s solo material, as well as whetting the appetite for the group’s imminent reunion, where Cole will be able to hide her lack of natural talent.
At a little over an hour long, this was a flimsy show, and thoroughly ordinary with it. But maybe that is the essence of her appeal – if Cheryl Cole can bluff it as a pop star, surely anyone can.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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