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7.2.2007

Nicole Scherzinger Album Preview

The Pussycat Dolls’ lead singer Nicole Scherzinger is about to break out from the mega-selling girl group with her solo debut album Her Name Is Nicole. The sexy Hawaii-born singer came up with the title because people recognized her as PCD’s frontwoman, but most didn’t know her name. But that’s about to change…

Her Name Is Nicole is a mix of R&B, pop, hip-hop, and rock. Producers include heavy hitters Polow Da Don (“Whatever You Like”), Timbaland (“Physical”), Akon (“Puakenikeni”), Pharrell (“I.M.I.S.S. You”), and will.i.am (“Baby Love”). Nicole co-wrote all except two songs on the album. The first single, “Whatever You Like” featuring T.I. can be heard here. A video has already been shot.

Rap-Up was one of the first media outlets to hear seven full tracks off the album, which is scheduled for release in October. After our listening, we have no doubt Nicole is on her way to becoming a household name.

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1. “Whatever U Like” featuring T.I.
Produced by Polow Da Don

The first single off Her Name Is Nicole is a hit in the making. This club banger will get play on urban and mainstream radio. It’s a perfect lead single and a good song to release in the summer. The beat has those distinctive Polow Da Don sirens that are reminiscent of Kelis’ “Blindfold Me,” which Polow also produced. “She hot as a stove, her name is Nicole!” is repeated by songwriter Sean Garrett throughout the song. The chorus goes, “I wanna do whatever you wanna, I’ll do whatever you like.” Nicole sings about doing whatever her man likes, including “riding it like a Harley.” T.I.’s rap is towards the middle of the track. This same beat can previously be heard on songs by TLC’s Chilli (“Straight Jack”) and Mase. Listen to the song here.

2. “Super Villain”
Produced by Mad Scientist

This is already the label’s frontrunner for the second single. Another danceable jam with a catchy chorus: “I want ’em super bad, super bad, bad boys drive me crazy.” There is a reggae/dancehall break in the middle. Nicole sings, “I wanna be Lois and Clark, I wanna be Bonnie and Clyde, ’cause I’ll ride all day.” The song oozes sexiness.

3. “Physical” featuring Timbaland
Produced by Timbaland

The upbeat song has a thumping baseline and starts off with a rap by Timb. The hook goes, “Let’s dance, let’s get physical, work your body like some cardio. Let’s dance, let’s get physical, let’s get emotional and take off our clothes.” Some of the song can be heard in the movie Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer.

4. “Baby Love”
Produced by will.i.am and written by Kara Dioguardi

Nicole’s pick for the second single. This has top 40 radio smash written all over it. The midtempo song features a guitar. The laid-back vibe is similar to the Pussycat Dolls’ “Stickwitu.” Chorus: “We so in love, you are my baby love, you make the sun come up, oh boy, you’re my every, everything that I could ever dream of.” A gushy love song that 14-year-old girls and pop radio will eat up.

5. “Puakenikeni”
Produced by Akon

The uptempo song is named after a Hawaiian flower. Starts off with Akon’s signature Konvict Muzik cell bars slamming, yet it doesn’t sound like an Akon produced track. This love song then goes into a Hawaiian chant. Nicole sings, “Don’t you wanna pick my Puakenikeni? Nothing’s sweeter than my Puakenikeni.” Nicole’s favorite song on the album.

6. “Happily Never After”
Written by Ne-Yo

A ballad about leaving your lover. “I don’t think I want this anymore as she drops the ring down to the floor,” Nicole sings. Ne-Yo does what he does best by telling a story through the song. Sample lyrics: “No happily never after, that just ain’t for me, I know I deserve better after all, I’ll never let another tear drop fall.” Fans will be pulling out their lighters/cell phones when this song is played at a concert.

7. “Just Say Yes”
Produced by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol

A soft and slow song with a pulsing, electronic beat. Everything about it is understated. Something you would not expect to hear on this album. This would be categorized as more alternative/soft rock music, hence it was produced by Gary Lightbody of the rock band Snow Patrol. Sample lyrics: “Please take my hand, it’s so simple and you know it is, I can feel your heartbeat through your shirt, it’s all I want, just say yes, nothing holding you back.”

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Whatever You Like,” “Super Villain,” and “Baby Love”