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CD Review: Cher Lloyd 

Sticks + Stones (Epic)

Not to be confused with that other Cher, Cher Lloyd is most famous as a contestant on the British version of The X-Factor. In fact, X-Factor creator Simon Cowell even signed her to his Syco Music Label, which released this, the singer's debut, in the UK last year. That version has been slightly tweaked for the U.S. release, and while it's not a great album by any stretch of the imagination, it certainly shows Lloyd's range. She lays down some serious raps in "Grow Up" and puts on dancehall airs for "With Ur Love." The album is so heavily produced and pumped up with synthetic beats, it's hard to say just how well Lloyd can really sing. And she's not the sharpest tool in the shack, either, as she drops lines like "The same old song won't last long if you can't stand behind the music" as if she's delivering some serious philosophy. But like Nicki Minaj, she's able to effectively criss-cross boundaries and genres, and a good handful of tracks here sound like commercial radio hits.

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