After a lot of speculation and waiting, Nicole Scherzinger’s second single has finally arrived—and I got to say with every leak and new version of the song we heard it just got worse and worse unfortunately for Nicki.

The original Keri Hilson/Timbaland demo was not only catchy blending urban and pop sounds wonderfully, but included some felt emotions in the duet. Then the Crystal Johnson demo leaked which took a much poppier take on the song, but still was extremely catchy and made for an extremely fun take on the song.

And now comes Nicole’s version, produced by big remix producer Dave Aude. The song starts with an slower piano and harp-tinged introduction that makes the song start off promising. Then we get into the verse which has such an obviously studio produced piano accompaniment that just comes off as lame along with a very pop beat. The chorus is nothing special either adding in guitars (probably for an “edge”) that don’t do much. The song feels very inauthentic music-wise.

As speculated earlier, Nicole gets her chance to show off her vocals in the bridge which I’m sure she loved but the song really does go nowhere. The chorus also feels very slow making me think the performances of this song are going to get really boring. Despite how I felt about the song, Nicole nailed all her high-energy performances of “Poison,” but I feel this song is going to be a struggle unless she does a faster, live version.

All and all, I stand by my claim that Nicole is a talented musician and vocalist, but she is very weird and that gets translated in her music. When I say weird, she thinks certain things sound good and while there’s nothing wrong with variety—she can’t do that if she wants the huge mainstream success like the Pussycat Dolls that she won’t accept anything less. Did you see her hair everytime she performed Posion? She’s weird! Nothing wrong with that, but she’s going to need to shift her focus (which she’s trying by working with RedOne…which is such a cop-out move) and probably take a back seat IF she wants the big success. I loved her first singles, but they were weird! (See: Puakenini) I love weird music, and I’m sure Nicole does—but she can’t be so adamant if she wants the huge pop career she is so desperately after.

All right, rant over. Take a listen to the lackluster new from Nicole and let me know your thoughts on the song and her career.

*UPDATE: The full, final high quality version of the single is now available. I’ve updated the video below, and I got to say I’m enjoying it more and its not as bad as I said before. But I still stand by my thoughts.

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