Who remembers the Season 5 X-Factor pop diva Diana Vickers? Just another TV reality star who disappeared into the backdrop – or so we thought. Vickers is back with her second album Music to Make Boys Cry which was released 15th September 2013.
Vicker’s debut album Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree released in 2010, charted at number 1 in the UK albums charts in quick succession of her single ‘Once’, which reached number 1 in the UK singles charts. So why has her second Album taken such a plunge; barely making the albums Top 40 charts and no-where to be seen elsewhere? Music to Make Boys Cry is facing the cruel fate of an album to disappear without recognition.
‘Cinderella’ the albums lead single was released in July of this year, its fresh, summertime melody giving the track a very 80’s pop feel while the endearing lyrics “For you I would lose both my shoes” promotes the girlish charm which acclaimed Vickers so highly in her X-Factor days. This 80’s theme is continued in the title track ‘Music To Make Boys Cry’ which with its huge melody and range in vocal styling boasts the indie quality to Vickers’s voice – undoubtedly an album favourite.
In my personal favourite ‘Lighting Strikes’, Vickers sings about an unexpected chemistry with a stranger she passes in a café; “He just kinda smiles and/Lightning strikes”. With the most infectious tune of the album, the beautiful vocal slides and harmonic patterning will have you playing this track on repeat.
The youthful naivety of these earlier songs seem particularly chic in light of the more suggestive ‘Better In French’ and ‘Mad At Me’ where Vickers seductory foreign croon; “Parlez-vous français?”, and irresistibly innocent inquiry; “Was it so bad of me?” are complimented by up-beat techno-pop rhythms to paint herself in a more rebellious image than perhaps her fans remember.
Quite a random track is “Mr Postman”, a modernized pastiche of ‘Please Mr. Postman’ (originally by 60’s all-girls group The Marvelettes) which offers a particularly jazzy feel, somewhat different from the rest of the album. Make sure you listen closely to the lyrics of this one! A sarcastically comical all-year-round version of ‘Santa Baby’, this track is a quirky addiction to the otherwise all 80’s pop tracks.
Then of course come the token serious recordings. ‘Dead Heat’ kicks off with an instantly alluring beat leading into an intense testimony of love; “I’d sacrifice the sun” sings Vickers passionately, the genuine edge to her voice making this track particularly captivating. ‘Smoke’ offers a different type of desperation. In equal sincerity Vickers belts, “If I cry, it’s not because my heart is broke/It’s only ’cause the smoke got in my eyes”. This track however, is ever so slightly marred by the imposing dub-step break; it would perhaps have been more effective had Vickers produced an acoustic version to ensure the emotion in the lyrics was not lost in the 21st century techno backing. Vickers spoke out in interview; “I remember with my first album I was a bit like ‘yeah I like that, I like that’. I didn’t know, but now I know what I like and what I don’t”, it seems that Vickers is yet to learn that variety is essential in broadening her audience.
So if you’re still listening to your favourite Girls Aloud/Kylie/Holly Valance tracks, this underrated album could be just what your tired playlist needs. This feel good album has been sadly overlooked, so why not take the chance to appreciate a forgotten star?
Music To Make Boys Cry was released on Apple 15th September 2013.