Pixie Lott’s new EP kicks off with her new single of the same name, “Lay Me Down,” which, like “Nasty” before it, finds the singer back in full pop mode after taking a disappointing R&B detour on her second album, Young Foolish Happy, which was far inferior to her debut, Turn It Up. I really can’t tell you how happy I am that she’s doing pop again because she has such a lovely voice, perhaps splitting the difference between Diana Vickers and Ellie Goulding, and I just know from “Nasty” and this track that her new album is going to be a smash. The kind of album that you call a smash even if it doesn’t end up selling much. But I’m hoping it sells lots and lots of CDs and downloads so that she gets to keep making albums and remains a pop star. Although, I wouldn’t mind her doing a jazz record. Something in the vein of Robbie Williams’ Swings Both Ways could be awesome. Especially if she used Guy Chambers to produce it.
Getting back to “Lay Me Down,” it’s kind of like an old soul single sped up, as if she took a hit song that had a certain tempo on a 33 speed vinyl record and she covered it and made it sound like it would sound if you played it on 45 instead of 33. Except, of course, that her vocals don’t sound like a Chipmunk. On a related note, when I was a little kid if I wasn’t crazy about one of my mother’s albums I would just put it on 45 and it’d sound like The Chipmunks and suddenly I would like it. I was a big fan of The Chipmunks back then anyway. My favorite record was The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles Hits. If they pressed that on vinyl again, I would totally buy it. I should look on ebay and see if someone is selling the original version from back in the ’70’s. (Or maybe it was the ’60s. I would’ve been listening to it in the mid to late ’70’s but it was one of my mother’s records, so it could have been from the ’60’s. Come to think of it, it was all covers of *early* Beatles hits, so it would make sense that it came out not long after they debuted.) I still have some of my mother’s records that I liked from back then, but one time I was getting down off of a counter I had to climb up to use a record player and I fell and cracked the record right in half when I landed on it. One of the saddest days of my childhood, to be sure. But this is about Pixie Lott, so I digress.
The second track on hand is a cover of the Dusty Springfield hit “I Only Want to Be with You.” Pixie’s version is only 2:22, so maybe she actually did speed this one up. I mean, songs were short back then but I don’t think the average song was quite that short. In any case, Pixie’s rendition is clearly the whole song, just faster than I remember. More importantly, it is quite vibrant and her voice sounds especially sweet, so it’s a winner all around.
“Cry Baby” follows and I’m pretty sure it’s a cover but there have been several popular songs with that title over the years so I’m not sure which one it is that she’s doing. I actually looked up the lyrics to the versions listed on Wiki and it wasn’t any of them, so perhaps it is an original song written for Pixie. Maybe she even co-wrote it. Who knows? In any case, it sounds lovely, especially letting Pixie show her soulful side. This is a song I can easily imagine the late Amy Winehouse singing and it takes a really good track for me to imagine Winehouse singing it, being that she had such good tastes.
Finally, we have a song called “Champion” recorded live at The Pool. Apparently, Pixie recorded this one for her forthcoming album, as there’s a preview on Youtube and it doesn’t sound like the song from The Pool session. It’s the same song, of course, but not the same recording. That said, this version is pretty darn flawless, so she could put it on her album and I doubt anyone would complain. “I’ll be your champion,” she sings and it just might make your heart flutter.