Standard edition cover
|Studio album by|
|Released||March 18, 2011|
|Nicole Scherzinger chronology|
|Singles from Killer Love|
Killer Love is the debut solo studio album by American singer Nicole Scherzinger. It was released on March 18, 2011 by Interscope Records, in association with its affiliated record labels. Scherzinger had been working on a solo album since 2005, under the title Her Name Is Nicole and was originally due for release in 2007. However, unsuccessful singles and poor timing led the project being pushed back numerous times. After releasing The Pussycat Dolls' second album Doll Domination (2008), Scherzinger shelved the project entirely citing bad timing and creative issues as the reasons for its cancellation. Many of its songs were reassigned to the Dolls or other artists. In 2010, Moroccan producer RedOne was brought on board for a second attempt at launching her solo album.
Completed in 2011 and titled Killer Love, Scherzinger's debut album features a combination of up-tempo pop, dance-pop and R&B songs, as well as mid-tempo and down-tempo ballads. Songs contain influences of rock, soul and funk music, with the specific aim of selecting songs and productions which would lend themselves to being performed live. Amongst the fourteen-song track listing are two collaborations, one with Enrique Iglesias, and one with Sting, the latter of which was a leftover from the Her Name Is Nicole recording sessions. RedOne and his associates produced almost half of the album, while other contributions come from the likes of Jim Jonsin, Stargate, The-Dream, Tricky Stewart and Boi-1da. It would be her first and only solo studio album with Interscope, after she ended her ten-year partnership in 2014 and signed a record deal with RCA Records.
Killer Love was preceded by the release of "Poison", which peaked at number three and numbers seven in the United Kingdom and Ireland, respectively. The album's second single, "Don't Hold Your Breath", would go on to top the UK Singles Chart and reach the top five in Ireland. In an attempt to launch the album worldwide, a new version of "Right There", featuring 50 Cent, was released, becoming one of Scherzinger's highest-charting solo singles. The song gave Scherzinger her first entry on the US Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist. Another single was released from the standard edition of the album, "Wet", which became her fourth consecutive top-ten hit in Ireland. A repackaged edition of the album spawned a brand new mid-tempo single titled "Try with Me". It gave Scherzinger her fifth consecutive top-twenty hit in the United Kingdom and helped the album to receive a gold certification from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
Upon its release, Killer Love received mixed to positive response from music critics. Some praised Scherzinger's strong vocals and conviction to convey emotion, while others criticized her choice of allowing RedOne to produce the majority of the album, stating that some of the songs sounded too similar to each other. At times it was felt that Scherzinger lacked coherence across the record, often taking the sound that individual producers had created for her instead of showing originality. Critics compared many of the songs to those her fellow pop and R&B contemporaries Beyoncé and Rihanna. Scherzinger recorded new songs with R. Kelly, Snoop Dogg and Ne-Yo for the North American release of Killer Love; however, she confirmed that recording for her second studio album, originally scheduled for late 2013 release, had begun, signalling the end of the promotion for Killer Love.
Prior to worldwide success with The Pussycat Dolls, Scherzinger initially began work on her debut studio album back in 2005. The project, titled Her Name is Nicole, saw the singer recording 75-100 songs, with some of the songs later ending up with the Pussycat Dolls. Amongst those working on the album were Akon, Gary Lightbody, Dr. Dre, Ne-Yo, T.I., Timbaland, will.i.am, and Kanye West. However following four unsuccessful singles, Scherzinger admitted she was going to restart her album. In an interview with Billboard magazine in April 2009, she said "the current incarnation of [my album] is just in talks and in the writing process. I haven't started recording yet". Singer-songwriter Keri Hilson, confirmed that Scherzinger's album was not released so that Scherzinger could focus on releasing new music with the Pussycat Dolls instead. Then in January 2010, Scherzinger began the recording and writing process for a third time, reuniting with Ne-Yo on "personal and heartfelt" tracks. She attempted to launch her debut album for a second time on May 2010, with a brand new "rock, funk, soul edge" sound, and a brand new single "Nobody Can Change Me".
Then in August 2010, Moroccan producer RedOne confirmed his involvement in the project during an interview with BBC Music, where he confirmed that the it was the third time that new material had been recorded for the album. When asked why he thought the album didn't previously come out RedOne said "Her last one never came out because it was collecting hamburgers, like fast food. One from McDonald's, one from Burger King, and so on. It tasted good, but it wasn't consistent." He confirmed that he had produced the majority of the new album. Scherzinger followed up his comments in an interview with X magazine in September 2010. She said "It was actually my decision not to put Her Name Is Nicole out, not the label's". Scherzinger then said how much of an honor it was to work with RedOne. "He's an unbelievable producer and musician. He had made some amazing songs with Lady Gaga. Now, there is someone with the 'x factor'. I can't touch GaGa or RedOne in that space, but I know that we've created something unique of our own." RedOne revealed that Jimmy Iovine (chairman of Scherzinger's record label) personally called him to work on Scherzinger's album.
--RedOne on the process of working on the album's sound and influence
According to Billboard, Scherzinger had collaborated with Ne-Yo and Jay Sean for songs on the album, while Scherzinger confirmed that the album was mostly up-tempo songs which "lend themselves to live performances". Though Ne-Yo's songs are not featured on the international version of the album, Scherzinger confirmed that songs produced by the singer-songwriter would appear on the US version of Killer Love. When Scherzinger was asked by her UK-label (Polydor Records) which artists she wanted to work with, Scherzinger's only request was UK rapper Plan B.
In the UK and Ireland, a new version of the album was released in November 2011, featuring several new songs including a new single, "Try With Me". A further repackaged version of the album was in development for the US, featuring an alternate track listing; Scherzinger confirmed, during an interview with MTV, that the US album would contain contributions from RedOne, Ne-Yo, Jim Jonsin, The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. In addition to this, 50 Cent was featured on the album's US lead single, a new version of the Jonsin-produced, "Right There". American hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg was to appear on one of the new songs recorded for the US album. At the time of recording in August 2011, Scherzinger had over forty songs to choose from for the new release, but said that it would "not be finished until the very last minute. I don't know if I will ever feel like I have finished the album." After being part of the inaugural judging panel on the first season of reality TV show, The X Factor USA, the following year in 2012, Scherzinger crossed the Atlantic to judge (and win) the ninth series of the British edition of The X Factor. Whilst deciding whether or not to return to tenth series, Scherzinger unveiled that she had been working on her second studio album due for a global release in November 2013. The planned US release of the album and the Killer Love era ended soon after; Digital Spy confirmed that Scherzinger had left Interscope for a new record deal with RCA Records and Sony Music. Her second album, Big Fat Lie was released on October 17, 2014.
In early 2011, Scherzinger announced that the musically diverse music she recorded had a bittersweet theme in which she titled the album, Killer Love, saying "I wrote 'Killer Love' about a tortured love. Where you can't get enough of the love but it's not good for you. And I guess when the fans listen to the album, I want them to know that a lot of the music that I chose had to do with my past experiences and relationships, where I've lost myself many times. It's [about] being lost and broken and in a very fearful, dark place and the process [of] coming out of that. It's a very empowering album but it comes from a place of heartbreak." On March 2, 2011, Rap-Up revealed the cover art along with the track listing for Killer Love. On the standard cover, Scherzinger strikes a comfy pose, cracking a half-smile with a tuft of gray fur draped over her left shoulder. On October 20, 2011, the re-release cover was released with Scherzinger smiling coyly and draped lightly in a loose, unidentified, furry and wind-blown article of clothing similar to the first cover.
Digital Spy asked Scherzinger to describe Killer Loves sound, during an interview she replied said "the album is largely produced by RedOne, I wanted something explosive that could be staged live in a full performance and I needed music to match the intensity. That's what he did. It's raw, dangerous and big. That's what I want to be on stage. It's a different energy to Lady Gaga. The music is more rock, funk and soul inspired."Killer Love sees Scherzinger duet with two male vocalists. On the ballad, "Power's Out", she duets with English recording artist Sting. Speaking of their collaboration, which took place with both singers in the same studio, Scherzinger said "[Sting's] energy is very commanding, in a subtle way. He is giving, generous and kind. I flew to Boston for his show with The Police. I met him and he was everything and more than I thought. I felt like we were doing yoga when we were singing. He was such an easy guy to work with... Singing on the same mic you are really close. He had fresh breath. No broccoli in the teeth." David Renshaw from PopDash said the song borrowed elements and the sound from The Police, a band Sting was previously lead singer of, and in particular their 1983 hit single "Every Breath You Take". The other duet is with Enrique Iglesias, on his 2010 single "Heartbeat". The version featured on Killer Love is the "Rude Well's Open Heart Remix". Ellwood noted that the remix "added beats changing the tone of the song completely."
Some of the album's ballads, "Casualty" and "Desperate", were likened to the style of Leona Lewis. "Casualty" is one of the album's two closing ballads, the other being "AmenJena". The former is a "contemporary ballad-that's-not-a-ballad", while the latter is slower and more moving, as it is stripped of the album's synthesized and electronic production, to leace Scherzinger's voice with the piano-led melody. The album's other ballad "Everybody" also restricts the polished production, "to allow Scherzinger's voice to be the main focus." Kim Dawson, from The Daily Star, noted "Everybody" as the album's "goosebump ballad" moment. When talking to MTV, in the United States, Scherzinger said [in context of the US version of her album] it was "a mixture of strong dance anthems, urban twists and uplifting songs." Critics noted "You Will Be Loved" for its background vocals, which contain some yodelling. Its chorus is constructed by repeating the title of the song, similar to "Gimme More" by Britney Spears (2007) and "Halo" by Beyoncé Knowles (2009). It was written by Timothy and Theron Thomas, a duo who had previously written "Supervillain", the third single from Scherzinger's ill-fated first incarnation of her solo album, Her Name Is Nicole. "Right There" was compared to Rihanna's "Rude Boy", only politer in tone. Both "Rude Boy" and "Right There" were co-written by Ester Dean. The latter features a "glistening beat", over which Scherzinger becomes territorial with her man, and warns other girls away. Additionally, an alternate version of the song was recorded with 50 Cent, to be included on the US version of Killer Love. The album's lead single, "Poison", was described by 4 Music as a club thumper, while the follow-up, "Don't Hold Your Breath", was described as "sort-of-ballad-but-not-really."The Observers Michael Cragg also noted "Don't Hold Your Breath" as a "classy don't-darken-my-door-again anthem." Dawson noted the freedom theme in the song, likening it to a "Sugababe trying to break free," while Renshaw compared the song to Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown's 2008 duet "No Air".
Killer Love also features a number of up-tempo songs including "Wet", described as a "party playlist essential" thanks to its throbbing base and electronic beats. It was described, by Phillip Ellwood from Entertainment Focus, as the best of the up-tempos. the title track was described as "catchy", with a "juicy beat", and "radio-friendly" chorus. It features a "HI-NRG" beat with saucy lyrics which "equate love to actual, physical pain." Another one of the up-tempo songs, "Club Banger Nation" features a 1990s Europop introduction, with "shimmering beats and belting vocals" "Say Yes" was originally produced by The Cave (Jonas Saeed & Pontus Söderqvist), during early recording sessions. It was written by RedOne, Jimmy Joker, Jonas Saeed, Pontus Söderqvist, Nailah Thourbourne, Nyanda Thourbourne, Tasha Thourbourne, Candace Thourbourne. Nailah had previously worked with Scherzinger twice, contributing to "Puakenikini" with Nayanda Thourborne and working with Akon, Scherzinger and Giorgio Tuinfort on the song "On My Side". Both were recorded for Her Name Is Nicole, though the former was also released as one of Her Name Is Nicoles ill-fated singles. For its inclusion on Killer Love, "Say Yes" was re-tooled and reproduced by RedOne and Joker. Renshaw compared the song to works by Taio Cruz, thanks to the elements of Eurodance present in its production.
Upon its release, Killer Love received a mixed to positive response from critics. Some praised Scherzinger's strong vocals and conviction to convey emotion, while others criticized her choice of allowing RedOne to produce the majority of the album, stating that some of the songs sounded too similar to each other. The Observers Michael Cragg noted the album as being consistent with most other modern R&B albums, stating "Killer Love is two thirds deliriously catchy pop stompers and one third balladry." Cragg also noted that Scherzinger's "not so inconsiderable voice" takes a backseat allowing the record producers to inject their own influences into her music. Alex Macpherson from BBC Online commented that "Scherzinger is one of the few pop performers with the requisite power to dominate [her] beats rather than vice versa. Killer Love is far from the album you sense Scherzinger could still deliver: at times, her personality is all that - barely - carries substandard, unmemorable songs." Kim Dawson from The Daily Star was positive, saying that "Nicole's solo record truly is killer and no filler." Another positive reaction came from "Entertainment Focus" who went to say that: "Killer Love is a competent and enjoyable record from one of the nicest women in pop. Fingers crossed this time it works out for her." The 4Music review was also positive, noting that "Killer Love will definitely establish her as a viable act in her own right." Robert Copsey wrote favorably for Digital Spy that "Killer Love is a sturdy debut from the part-time X Factor judge that, in part, lives up to her promise of being "in your face and strong".
However, Hugh Montgomery from The Independent gave it a negative review for a perceived lack of originality and musical identity, calling it "a debut that bludgeons the listener with faux-raunchy Euro-dance before flatlining with the obligatory earnest balladry and a Sting duet. At 14 tracks, it's at least 12 too long, much of it imaginably pilfered off Rihanna's reject pile."Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote for AllMusic that the album don't have "powerful hooks in the rhythms or melodies." At the end of 2011, Pop Justice ranked Killer Love the tenth best album of 2011.
Killer Love made its chart debut in Ireland on March 25, 2011, at number fourteen. Two days later, it would make its UK Album Chart debut at number eight, selling 19,743 copies. That same day, the album also charted at number four on the UK's Digital Albums Chart. Upon the release of Killer Love, the title track charted on the UK Singles Chart at 184 due to strong digital sales from the album. On April 2, 2011, the album made its debut on the Scottish Albums Chart at number six becoming Killer Loves highest charting position on any chart. It became the 73rd biggest selling album of the year in the same country.Killer Love was the twentieth best selling album by a female artist in 2011.
After four months of release, Killer Love managed to sell 200,500 copies in the United Kingdom. It spent a total of 36 consecutive weeks on the UK Albums Chart in 2011. On March 26, the album was released in France and sold 10,000 copies. Elsewhere, Killer Love charted at number 23 in France, 26 in Australia and 34 in New Zealand. The album has been certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipments of 100,000 copies.
The first single, "Poison" was performed for the first time on the series seven of The X Factor, on November 28, 2010. The following day, she reprised the performance on ITV's breakfast show, Daybreak Scherzinger performed her next single, "Don't Hold Your Breath" live for the first time on series six of Dancing on Ice on March 6, 2011. Scherzinger promoted the single again on Loose Women on March 7, 2011. During the week the song was also performed on Lorraine on March 8, 2011, and on March 13, 2011, on Let's Dance for Comic Relief. On March 17, 2011, she performed on T4.
On August 18, 2011, Scherzinger performed the song for the first time in the US on Regis & Kelly. On October 12, 2011, Scherzinger performed the song on Good Morning America. Scherzinger performed the song for the last time in the US on November 11, 2011, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. On May 19, 2011, Scherzinger and 50 Cent made their debut performance of "Right There" on the stage of American Idol. An editor from Rap-Up magazine agreed, saying that "The ex-Pussycat Doll heated up the stage in a show-stopping dress while performing [her] single." Amy Sciarretto praised Nicole Scherzinger's performance complimenting on her vocal and dancing abilities. Sciarretto said "Scherzinger's performance was easily the most choreographed of the season ... However, Scherzinger never sacrificed a melody, a vocal line or a beat in favor of keeping her body moving. That's a skill and a talent that takes lots of practice, and one that this crop of contestants is quickly learning." The duo performed the song live again together on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 24, 2011.
In June 2011, Scherzinger flew to the UK to promote her next single, "Right There", first performing on the final of Britain's Got Talent. Later the same week, on June 10, 2011, she performed it again on The Graham Norton Show wearing a tribal-print minidress. Scherzinger further promoted her single in the United States first performing it on July 13 at the Universal CityWalk and then on July 14 on the eighth season of So You Think You Can Dance. Scherzinger performed the last single, "Try With Me" live for the first time on the eighth series of The X Factor on October 30, 2011. She performed it again on This Morning on November 4, 2011.
|Tour by Nicole Scherzinger|
Promotional poster for the O2 Apollo Manchester show
|Associated album||Killer Love|
|Start date||February 13, 2012|
|End date||March 23, 2012|
|No. of shows||7|
On October 25, 2011, Scherzinger made an announcement in the UK that she would embark on her very first solo tour in February 2012. Scherzinger performed seven shows and the tour received positive feedback from critics.
|February 13, 2012||Brussels||Belgium||Ancienne Belgique|
|February 15, 2012||Belfast||Northern Ireland||Waterfront Hall|
|February 16, 2012||Dublin||Ireland||Olympia Theatre|
|February 19, 2012||London||England||HMV Hammersmith Apollo|
|February 22, 2012||Manchester||O2 Apollo Manchester|
|February 23, 2012||Birmingham||O2 Academy Birmingham|
|March 23, 2012||Kuala Lumpur||Malaysia||Twin Towers|
To lead the album's release in the United Kingdom, "Poison" was unveiled as Killer Loves lead single on October 14, 2010. Then on December 11, 2010, the single debuted at number one on the Scottish Singles Chart. Additionally "Poison" made its UK chart debut at number three with first-week sales of 67,425 thus becoming one of her most successful single in the UK, as a solo or featured artist. It also peaked at number two on the UK Digital Singles chart. In Ireland, the single debuted at number seven becoming her best charting single as a lead artist.
Second single, "Don't Hold Your Breath" was produced by Carl Falk, Steve Josefsson (of the Swedish House Mafia) and Rami Yacoub. It was released from March 10, 2011. It peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart selling 98,000 copies in its first week, and top-five in Ireland. "Don't Hold Your Breath" was released as a digital download in the US in August 2011, it serves as the second US single and impacted US radio on September 20, 2011.
After gaining international attention, "Right There" impacted on UK urban music radio on April 1, 2011, as the album's third UK single. The song was released digitally in the United Kingdom on May 17, 2011. Meanwhile, for its release as the lead single for the US edition of Killer Love, the song was re-recorded to feature two new verses from American rapper 50 Cent. This version of the song was available for purchase at the US iTunes store on May 17, 2011. It peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at 39, thus becoming her first US single as a lead artist to enter the Hot 100. Scherzinger performed "Right There" live for the first time on American Idol, to coincide with the song's US release.
On July 14, 2011, it was revealed that "Wet" would be released as the album's fourth UK single. On the week of August 20, 2011, it climbed 156 places to peak at number 21 with a lack of sales and has sold over 148,000 copies to date. "Wet" debuted on the Irish Singles Chart at number forty-eight on the week ending August 11, 2011. The following week, August 18, 2011, "Wet" climbed to number 29 on the Irish Singles Chart. The song also peaked at number thirteen on the Scottish Singles Chart.
"Try with Me" was released on October 30, 2011, as the lead single from the European re-release and over-all fifth single from Killer Love. The song and its video made its premiere on October 18, 2011, at Capital FM and MSN.com, respectively. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number eighteen on the UK Singles Chart on the issue dated November 12, 2011. It sold 21,315 copies in its first week.
|Killer Love – Standard edition|
|3.||"Don't Hold Your Breath"||3:17|
|5.||"You Will Be Loved"||4:16|
|8.||"Club Banger Nation"||RedOne||4:07|
|9.||"Power's Out" (featuring Sting)||4:08|
|12.||"Heartbeat" (Rudi Wells' Open Heart Remix) (Enrique Iglesias featuring Nicole Scherzinger)||Taylor||3:32|
|Killer Love – French iTunes Store (bonus tracks)|
|15.||"Poison" (Glam As You Rock Mix)||3:41|
|16.||"Don't Hold Your Breath" (Cahill Mix - Edit)||3:04|
|Killer Love – Australian (bonus track)|
|15.||"Right There" (featuring 50 Cent)||4:22|
|Killer Love – Repackaged edition|
|15.||"Right There" (featuring 50 Cent)||4:22|
|16.||"Try with Me"||Soulshock||3:56|
|17.||"Trust Me I Lie"||Diane Warren||3:51|
|18.||"Tomorrow Never Dies"||3:41|
Adapted from the album booklet.
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||14|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||52|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||61|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||66|
|French Albums (SNEP)||57|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||85|
|Irish Albums (IRMA)||14|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||34|
|Scottish Albums (OCC)||6|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||55|
|UK Albums (OCC)||8|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|United Kingdom||March 21, 2011||Standard||CD||Polydor|
|France||April 25, 2011|
|Poland||May 20, 2011||Universal|
|Germany||August 26, 2011|
|Australia||September 2, 2011|
|United Kingdom||November 14, 2011||Repackaged||Polydor|