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Pixie Lott - 'Turn It Up'

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Fraser McAlpine | 14:49 UK time, Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Pixie Lott

Can I ask an awkward question? I was just having a look at Pixie's chart record, principally to double check exactly how many singles off her debut album 'Turn It Up' have charted. Assuming this does well, it'll be the fifth, but what's striking is the pattern of peaks for Pixie's previous hits.

'Mama Do' and 'Boys And Girls' got to No.1, which is great, really gets an artist off to a cracking start, a one-two like that. Then 'Cry Me Out', the mature '50s ballad, got to No.12. That's fine though, it definitely found her a new audience, and probably not among the most tradionally single-friendly of people (hi Mum!).

Then, a definite mis-step: 'Gravity' - aka The Song That Tried To Re-Write 'No Air' - came out either as an attempt to cash-in on Gleemania (they did 'No Air' too, y'see), or an attempt to further convert new audiences. This time, the target must have been fans of overwrought power ballads that sound like other, recent overwrought power ballads. It peaked at No.20.

So, is it all over for Pixie Lott?

(No video. Ad cooties)

Now, it'd be easy to conclude that everyone who wants the album has probably bought it, and that these chart placings are merely a sign of a saturated Pixie market (other signs include water-spoiled fairy shoes, a nectar-juice stall on its side, and several crying nan-sprites, looking at the ruins of their sodden human-cakes).

But if that's the case, why release a fifth single? It's not like Pixie is still an unknown, up-and-coming kind of artist, not with platinum album sales. She's been on almost every telly show going, and this, to be frank, is gonna struggle to get her on any of the other ones (she's already been on Loose Women, before you ask).

'Turn It Up' is a perfectly good album track, notable only because at no point in the presentation does Pixie stop singing. Have a listen, it's a seamless carpet of human voice. I tellya, she must be GASPING FOR AIR every time she does it live.

But as a fifth single from an already-succesful breakthrough album, it's pointless, and worse, might even allow chart-statisticians such as myself the chance to put together a compelling argument that she's failing, when she could be off recording some new, different, amazing songs and preparing to kill us all with brilliance.

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: June 7th

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Unreality Shout says: "It's the kind of groove I've heard a million times when someone's trying to pitch a new girl group."

The Beat Review says: "I think this girl needs to take a break and do some recordings for a new album, eh?"

Music Is My King Size Bed says: "She's fresh faced and super talented."


  • Comment number 1.

    I like the song, whilst it's not great, it's better than 'Gravity', which was, as Fraser so kindly agrees with, a mis-step, a rather large at that.

    So I think this shouldv'e been the fourth single, that is, if I ever chose to release it in the first place.

    I would've released 'Here We Go Again'. And if the her record label knew how to cash-in on other people's success PROPERLY (cough cough 'Gravity', and 'Glee', also mentioned by Fraser) they would've released it too.

    If you haven't heard it, whilst it's cleary not even Top 3 material, it would've been a great choice after 'Cry Me Out', reminding poeple she can belt out a proper ballad, AND a dancier track produced by RedOne (cough cough Lady GaGa cash-in; they really should've seen this).

    Dear dear Pixie, you fudged up didn't you?

    Mind you, this song it enjoyable enough: the bridge is brilliantly catchy, and myself and either Randy or spirit both agree her chavvy tone on 'turn it aaaaaarp' makes it worth listening to.

    3 stars.

  • Comment number 2.

    Randy agrees and this is my favourite single she's released so far. Maybe I'm just enjoying infectious Summer vibe of the song. 4 STARS

  • Comment number 3.

    Oh my goodness, I just realised I mis-typed 3 stars... Woops..

    I meant to type 4 stars. :\

  • Comment number 4.

    This, just like gravity, is painfully average, not heard the album, apart from the singles but I bet there are better singles on there, judging by the strength of the previous ones.
    And is it just me, or does every line begin with 'baby'?

    3 stars

  • Comment number 5.

    I think that's got something to do with the song's motif, Haducon.

    But you're right, 'Here We Go Again' is full of hooks, and a great chorus makes the song even better.

  • Comment number 6.

    2 Number 1 singles , followed by another 2 top 20 singles , from a platinum selling album which has been in the top 75 for nearly 40 weeks !

    And you ask :

    "So is it all over for Pixie Lott ? "

    What !?.

    I certainly think that any seasoned chart watcher who studies facts and figures would answer with a resounding "NO !"

    Only a fool would drop a artist who has had 2 number 1 singles , and a platinum selling album.

    She has had great success for an 18 yr old debut artist.
    Bravo Pixie.

    (The new materials sounding good too ! )

  • Comment number 7.

    The following female artists have all failed to get 4 singles from their last album into the top 20 :

    Pink (Funhouse failed )
    Little Boots (Earthquake failed )
    Ellie Goulding (Guns and Horses failed )
    Bat For Lashes (Has not had a top 20 hit yet )
    Florence and The Machine (Drumming Song never made the top 40 )

    This shows Pixie's achievement to be very credible indeed .

  • Comment number 8.

    Well of course ellie goulding hasn't had 4 singles in the top twenty, she hasn't released 4 yet.
    But I see your point as only 1 out of her 3 singles has made the top twenty, under the sheets didn't even make the top forty

  • Comment number 9.

    Ellie, Florence and Little Boots' 'failures' are pretty understandable right? They're new faces on the block and they were Pixie's main competition in 2009, well when you think about it,

    Ellie's not been around long enough to have four singles yet (as pointed out by Haducon2). And she only rose the public prominence around the release of 'Starry Eyed', I'm thinking whether we like it or not, 'Under The Sheets' is going to be re-released.

    Florence has only risen to public semi-prominence after the release of 'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)', after that, her only Top 20 single has been 'You've Got The Love' and it's spin-off with Dizzee Rascal. Both 'Drumming Song' (my favourite) and the mistake of re-releasing 'Dog Days Are Over' and THEN spending a bucket on the new video were her downfall, even though many people have heard of Florence by now.

    Little Boots was cheated by her label, even she thinks it. Her album is chock-full of single-worthy tracks and yet, she was only allowed to release three, only two of which went into Top 20 due to the lack of promotion and radio airplay around third single and the best track on the album, 'Earthquake'.

    Paloma Faith has little or no promotion for any of the singles on her album. 'Stone Cold Sober', her first single boasted her ability to pen a great chorus, and her voice gave a certain swagger to the song some snotty teenager couldn't pull. Even still, it only peaked at #17, subsequent single, 'New York' bounced about in the charts a bit, but peaked at just #15. Her last two singles, 'Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?' and 'Upside Down' never got any airplay on mainstream radio so the singles flopped, even though her album peaked at #9.

    But then we have Pixie, a bright-eyed, gorgeous new addition to the class of paroxide blonde superstars of 2009, scoring two #1's and two Top 20 hits. But there was radio airplay. There was promtion. There were live performances etc, etc. This surely helped boost her status and chart peak positions. If any other new female artist of 2009 (excluding Lady GaGa) got as much promotion as Pixie, I think Pixie maybe not be holding the chart statistics she currently has.

  • Comment number 10.

    You Forgot about La Roux.
    Like little boots, her first 2 singles did pretty well, in for the kill and bulletproof charting at 2 and 1 respectively.
    But releasing I'm not your toy may have been a mistake, as there were many potential singles on the album, and that one didn't chart well at all.

  • Comment number 11.

    Oh I left out quicksand...that didn't even make the top 100

  • Comment number 12.

    Re-releasing 'Quicksand' was one of the worst mistakes of 2009.

    And the lacklustre 'I'm Not Your Toy' was a dreadful follow-up to the huge 'Bulletproof'.

    I would've much preferred 'Tigerlily', myself.

  • Comment number 13.

    I love little boots, can't wait for her to release a second album!

  • Comment number 14.

    Yep , there are two more that have not had 4 top 20 singles , from an album. La Roux and Paloma Faith .

    I have seen both live , and was entertained immensely .

    The point I am making , is that along with Beyonce and Gaga , Pixie has had 4 top 20 singles from a recent album , yet the review questions :

    "So is it all over for Pixie Lott ?" , when it is quite clear to any seasoned chart watcher , and to the regulars above , that having 4 top 20 singles in a row is a fantastic achievement , that only a few female singers have managed in recent years .

  • Comment number 15.

    I think it's because Paloma, Ellie and Florence all have the critics on their side and therefore almost have a safety net if their single doesn't do so well, for Pixie she just has public support really so if that twindles she's likely to fade away. I by no means believe that it's anywhere near over for Pixie I just feel that the point Fraser was trying to get at.

  • Comment number 16.

    And the fact that Pixie Lott is obviously produced, although she is a good singer. Florence, Ellie and Boots have all got genuine talent and have slowly risen up in the eyes of the critcs, whereas pixie came out of the blue and nobody had heard of her before 'Mama Do', arguably one of the worst tracks of 2009.
    Florence CANNOT be called a commercial failure - over half her weeks spent in the TOP 10 alone out of nearly a year with her realse 'LUNGS' - the second best selling Debut of 2009. Pixie merely scraped the top 5 and has only gone platinum.
    Ellie's album didn't sell so well at first but is still in the top 40 and she'll have respectable sales by the end of 2010 and when Under the Sheets is re-released it will have a huge impact on the charts.

  • Comment number 17.

    Continuing my last post...

    Little boots genuinely didnt fare so well, only a gold selling album but thats all down to her rubbish record label releasing the wrong tracks.
    Remedy should have been released first, the 'Tune into my heart(fantastic song) and then 'Stuck on repeat' (by far the best on the album).

    @7: The comment about Pink?! She's had more hits then pixie will ever have, she has MASSIVE talent and a huge voice. Her songs are meaningful (most of the time!) but also FUUUN! Funhouse was not a good choice for release however.

    And Bat for Lashes isn't really a commercial artist is she? But she does have more talent in her left foot than Pixie, Ellie and Florence put together. She will one that will be remembered in 20 years time unlike Pixie who's a throwaway diva.
    End of rant :)

  • Comment number 18.

    Wait... so is a re-release of 'Under The Sheets' confirmed?

    I hope so because it's the only Ellie Goulding track I can lsiten to and to and not get driven mad by her vocals.

    Don't tell Liam though... hush hush ;)

  • Comment number 19.

    Well it would be intelligent to release it again, maybe as a final single after she releases another (I'm guessing You're Biggest Mistake or Wish I stayed as the next one).

  • Comment number 20.

    The fact 'Under The Sheets' was only a PROMO single and didnt get too much airplay is obviously why it didnt chart well.

  • Comment number 21.

    I'm hoping for a re-release (shock, horror, I'm supporting a re-release!), quite frankly I couldn't care what else she releases because I've heard the album and none of the tracks fussed me particularly except for 'Under the Sheets'.

  • Comment number 22.

    It's true, the album does lack quality songs - most it feels like filler to be honest.

  • Comment number 23.

    I would just like to add, in my opinion, the most successful of the 09/10 acts is La Roux.
    One #1 in the Uk (Bulletproof)
    One #2 in the Uk (In for the Kill)
    And finally, La Roux got something very impressive when Bulletproof got to #8 in the U.S.
    Have any other british newcomers managed to get a high charting U.S single? I think not.

  • Comment number 24.

    I've posted in great length about female artists in Britain over the past few months. Might just copy and paste some old posts here.

    B asically Pixie = rubbish. In my opinion her only good track is 'Boys and Girls', which I maintain sounds like a Sugarbabes track. The rest have been awful, and this is only average. I try and remember it and only get 'Your love is my drug' stuck in my head. Fail@Pixie.

  • Comment number 25.

    Also. Step away from the P!nk reference now. I may get hissy.

  • Comment number 26.

    Yeah right! I smell a fish about that comparison, P!nk's on her fifth album and it too spawned a #1 hit and two other Top 20 hits. Hardly a failure.

  • Comment number 27.

    The P!nk comment was unnecessary, you cant really compare the multi-million selling pop/rock powerhouse that is P!nk with Pixie.

    We should also think about who has the most potential as an artist - personally, i think Pixie's parade of singles will end around the 2nd album when people are going to lose interest in her (Some other produced star WILL take her place.)

  • Comment number 28.

    In no way am I comparing Pixie Lott to Pink .

    Comparing artists is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard or Rio Ferdinand's knee .

    After Pixie has achieved 4 top 20 singles , Fraser was foolhardy enough to ask :

    "Is it all over for Pixie Lott ? "

    When quite clearly anyone who understands the music business and music statistics realises that to have 4 singles go top 20 from a platinum selling album is a fantastic achievement .

    To underline this greatness , I listed other wonderful female singers who had not achieved this , thus giving Pixie's feat extra kudos .

    Pink's Funhouse album has sold over 1 million copies in the UK , but does not house 4 top 20 singles , showing Pixie's achievement of doing this , something that should be applauded , not used as a tool to ask if it is all over for her .

  • Comment number 29.

    25! Its at 25! She FAILED! No top 20 hit for pixie then... ;)

  • Comment number 30.

    I've never seen anyone so happy at an artist failling.

  • Comment number 31.

    Adam seems a little too overjoyed there.
    I do hope this is her last single, her releases are getting a little annoying now.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hold up, this song isn't even released yet. Meaning it got there on digital download following her performance on BGT.

    Everyone who performed on BGT had their single climb up the chart this week, regardless of how many week's it's been in the chart.

    Alicia's 'Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart' went from #13 to #7
    Miley's 'Can't Be Tamed' went from #25 to #14.
    And Pixie's 'Turn It Up' went from #78 to #25.

    And no doubt, the single will move up again and into the Top 20 next week, with the official release boosting it up a further few places the following week.

    Not that I want it to... I'm just saying you can't call it a failure if a single misses the Top 20 on it's first week in the chart, especially seeing as the physical release hasn't come around yet. Look at 'Alejandro' - it's first week in the Top 40 was at #40, this week it's climbed to #28, but can you really call it a failure already seeing as neither the video nor the physical release are available?

    I think not.

  • Comment number 33.

    Yeah, the single is released tomorrow. I don't think you can deem a single a fail if it doesn't crack the Top 20 in its first week of release. There's such a thing as a 'sleeper hit'? Turn It Up is my favourite track of Pixie's. Pixie isn't a patch on Florence, Little Boots and La Roux but she is a good singer, songwriter and dancer and she is gorgeous. At 19 years of age, that shows quite a lot of talent. Sure, her music is a bit generic but give Pixie time to grow as an artist. If she continues to make pop hits, then I reckon she has a long term career in store for her.

  • Comment number 34.

    She's gorgeous, she's a good dancer and yes, Randy she is also a good song-writer, but I find she slurs her words something terrible when she performs live, then she hits a big note near the end to make up for it.

    But I agree that this is looking likely to be a sleeper hit, possibly bothering the Top 10 before too long.

  • Comment number 35.

    Ohhhh my bad I forgot the single release date. Apologies Ms. Lott
    Its just I don't really like her and it saddens me that she does so well when others don't! The sorrow!
    Anyway apologies for my harshness and ignorance! :(

  • Comment number 36.

    "And it would be easy to conclude that everyone who wants the album has already bought it . "

    Fraser , sorry , that statement is being proved to be so misleading and untrue .
    On Sunday Pixie's album rose into the top 20 again to the position of number 17 , this after 38! weeks on the chart .

    This proves that due to the airplay success of last single "Gravity" and the exposure of new single "Turn It Up " that people are STILL buying the album and WILL continue to do so , as her TV and RADIO airplay rises due to the effect of the fifth single .

  • Comment number 37.

    This is without doubt , my favourite Pixie single so far , and has nothing to do with the fact that one of her main songwriters was in a Bristol recording studio recently , and was an absolute gentleman , and first rate bloke !

    And he used to work with The Cure .

    The man is a legend !

  • Comment number 38.

    5 stars!!! This song is great and expresses much people!!!!

  • Comment number 39.

    I love the Cure even though they're about 20 years out of my generation! 90's kid FTW :)

  • Comment number 40.

    Woo-hoo, Adam and '90s kid FTW! But I don't exactly remember the first part of that decade.

  • Comment number 41.

    And Spirit predicts that this song will be in the top 20 on Sunday . And then the fur will fly . . . . . . Lol

  • Comment number 42.

    I'll kick off big time if it does get in the top 20! But its inevitable.. BAR YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS!
    @40, me neither to be honest! I don't remember much of the 90's at all I was only in it for 5 and a bit years! All I know is I missed the boyband-era!

  • Comment number 43.

    Adam... I really don't want to be on the receiving end of your tantrums! But I feel I have and obligation to tell you that 'Turn It Up' has peaked at #11 on the UK downloads.

    Pixie's album has jumped back up the albums chart and is at #5.

    -covers face and cowers in corner

  • Comment number 44.

    Just to inform everyone, turn it up is #11 on itunes at the moment, so it's going to be a reasonably high charting single.
    In my opinion one band who deserves much better single sales is Paramore, there latest single "careful" is absolutely cracking and another 5 star song!

  • Comment number 45.

    Do you think so, Ohum? Welcome to the blog by the way! I'm a big Paramore fan and I think it's a pretty average song with another cut and paste music video of backstage footage - their third music video to feature the same concept (also see All We Know and Hallelujah). The instrumentation is great though and its suitably angsty but lack of a proper music video won't help it in the charts.

    Oh well, we'll just have to wait 'til July 12 when the single is officially released.

  • Comment number 46.

    Yeah, I think it's time they got the recognition they deserve as one of the best modern bands. Concerning the music video, I think it's slightly better than the Hallelujah one anyway, I reckon that may just be because the song makes it look better though. I think that All I Wanted would've been a wiser choice if I'm being honest. But I stand by what I said above about how careful is an absolutely cracking song.

  • Comment number 47.

    Moving back to Pixie Lott and the fact that her single will beat the number 20 peak of "Gravity" , in 4 days time, and the album will rise again , near to the top 10 ,this really answers Fraser's question in the review of :

    "Why release a fifth single ? "

    "Turn It Up " has almost blanket radio play , good t.v airplay , will be a top 20 hit ,and has successfully revitalised sales of it's parent album , much in the same way that "Gravity" did .
    Each single has encouraged more people to buy the album , such is one of the many skills of a successful single , when used as a marketing and promotional tool .

    Fraser , you said that a fifth single is "pointless " , but airplay and increased sales suggest otherwise.

    You also say . that due to Pixie's chart placings , it gives the chance to chart statisticians such as yourself , to put forward a compelling case that Pixie is failing .

    So here is my question to you , as a chart "statistician " :

    In the last five years , can you name another British ,female solo artist , who , like Pixie ,has had an unbroken run of 5 top 20 singles , from a debut album ?


  • Comment number 48.

    Moving back to Paramore, I think Hallelujah is their best song ever and deserves a global release, to hit #1 and be re-released this Summer. 5 STARS. It's a pity it was released only for a limited release in the UK and Ireland and disappointingly peaked at #137 on the UK Chart.

    I want Turn It Off as the next single, followed by the super optimistic Where The Lines Overlap. I don't think they'll release anymore singles though from the album. They have never released more than 4 from an album before.

  • Comment number 49.

    Also the Summer album to buy is Paramore's 2007 record RIOT!. It is honestly the biggest "School's Out" album of the '00s.

  • Comment number 50.

    agreed. Can't write anymore till the 22nd...Leaving Cert!! >:(

  • Comment number 51.


    Come on Fraser , you chart statistician , try and put a compelling case that Pixie Lott is failing .

    On Sunday , Pixie will have achieved 5 unbroken Top 20 singles from a debut album .

    Please , feel free to list other female , British singers that have achieved this fantastic feat in the last 5 years .

  • Comment number 52.

    Awww Kingshlepy, I did my Leaving Cert last year. It's a complete bleep but you have so many options if you don't do as well as you hoped. Good luck with it!

  • Comment number 53.

    Awww Kingshleppy, I did my Leaving Cert last year. It's a real pain but if you don't do as well as you hoped you have so many options. Good luck with it and take my advice, it all gets much better after that!

  • Comment number 54.

    I don't know Spirit, Duffy maybe? Anyway Pixie is a lovely person and this is a nice song, it doesn't knock me out particularly but I wish her well.

  • Comment number 55.

    Raandom, I did it last year too, I'm older than you!! (worked it out from one of your earlier post!!) So I know all about the options, thing is I did quite brilliant last year...but I wanna be a doctor...:D

  • Comment number 56.

    Oh rage, I'm doing media so I can afford to be a misguided bum. But being a doctor...very ambitious, kingshleppy. Good luck with it! :)

  • Comment number 57.

    @43 hahahahaha I take back what I said now, you win! I'm very sad that Florence and Pixie have virtually SWAPPED places in the album charts! Florence's album is the best female album of last year, or at least par with Bat For Lashes' epic 'Two Suns'.

  • Comment number 58.

    Pixie releases new single Broken Arrow on October 11th .

    Couldn't help it , but had to read this shocking review again , especially the misguided bit that asks :

    "So is it all over for Pixie Lott ? "

    Well to answer since Turn It Up went top 20 , and gave Pixie 5 top 20 singles in a row from her debut album , thus boosting the album sales to double platinum , over 600,000 , I think anyone would any sense would answer No !!!

    Incredible . lol



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