Islandista Shontelle has been hard at work, prepping her sophomore album – the follow up to her moderately successful debut, Shontelligence.
Her music video for her lead single, Licky (which was released in October) was released last week (see above), while the power ballad-ish song Impossible was released online earlier this month.
Our thoughts on it all and the Impossible single after the cut.
First, let’s deal with Licky. It’s clear Shontelle or rather her management, are trying to position her as more ‘edgy’ and ‘sexy’ since that is what is hot in pop right now – a la Rihanna and Lady Gaga (seriously, that is exactly what they said on Shontelle’s website).
Shoot, even Beyonce dropped some of the glitter and big curly weaves to morph into ‘Sasha Fierce’.
Everyone want to be a bad-ass these days.
Problem is, some people are able to carry it off more authentically than others. It just feels weird and forced with Shontelle. She has a hard time to start with, in that Rihanna has already been trodding that path since GGGB came out nearly three years ago. And of course, Shontelle (and seemingly every other female Barbadian singer with a record label contract) suffers with Ri-ri comparisons. They can’t fart without some sage commenting that Rihanna farted that exact same way first.
Soo… you would think the smart money would be on NOT obviously following a trail which Rihanna has already blazed through. Go in some other direction besides edgy, sexy pop. Go for high-wattage, Diana Ross-esque glamour or even vintage-y 50s, 60s pop (yes Amy Winehouse, VV Brown, Shingai Shoniwa and a host of other British chicks are doing that too but at least they’re not Bajans) or shoot… even polka music.
Go. anywhere. else. Shontelle is a smart music maker and song writer, capable of contributing to interesting musical combinations – as evidenced by her ballady yet tuk influenced Road March song Colours or the mix of RnB, soca and dancehall on Roll, which she wrote.
The fact that Licky is actually a cover of a euro dance song done two years ago by Princess Superstar underlines its lack of originality.
Anyhow, without further adieu, here is her next single, Impossible, which is quite a bit better. It’s generic pop as well but it is at least a different direction and rather beautiful.