Stepping out of the shadows of Girls Aloud for the third time, Cheryl Cole is back with her new solo album, A Million Lights, which shows Chezza experimenting with a variety of musical genres from R&B, dubstep and electro-dance.
Following her previous efforts 3 Words and Messy Little Raindrops - which both topped the charts - Cole (or just Cheryl as she is now known) previously described her third solo LP as containing "a lot of dub" - something we would never normally associate with the Geordie popstress.
After the huge success of lead single Call My Name, which saw Cheryl team up with Calvin Harris, here at MTV.co.uk we had high hopes for the 28-year old's new release…and Chezza doesn't disappoint.
Despite Call My Name still being one of the stand-out tracks on the album, opening tune Under The Sun - which Cheryl co-wrote with Alex Da Kid - is a summery, mid-tempo song and provides a bright start to A Million Lights.
Cheryl stays true to her word when it comes to the dubstep genre, with its influence clearly heard on tunes Love Killer and Girl In The Mirror - showing another side to Cole's musical character, with the latter sounding very much like something Rihanna would put her name to.
Pal Will.I.Am also appears on track Craziest Things, which is said to give an "insight into Cheryl's personal attitude to relationships", and although it can be a bit repetitive at times, the song displays Cole and Will's ability to conjure up another catchy R&B tune.
Title track A Million Lights offers a welcome break from the uptempo pace set by Cheryl, as the mystical, poetical ballad has a rock feel that we predict will go down a storm on her forthcoming arena tour.
Despite Cheryl insisting it's not about ex-hubby Ashley Cole, we can't help thinking the anger conveyed in the lyrics is directed at the footballer. A true highlight on the album, showing an edgier side to the Nation's Sweetheart.
Although Lana Del Rey may have given eerie track Ghetto Baby to Chezza to record, the song is still riddled with elements of the New York singer, with Cheryl even displaying Lana-esque vocals.
Perhaps a surprise track on the album is dance anthem Sexy Den A Mutha, which bares a striking resemblance to Swedish House Mafia's hit song One (Your Name) and wouldn't sound out of place on the dance-floors of Ibiza this summer.
As well as A Million Lights providing a number of storming uptempo tracks, Chezza also slows it down towards the end of the album, with edgy tune Mechanics of the Heart and stripped back ballad All Is Fair winding down an otherwise energetic collection of tracks.
Overall, Cheryl's third solo album is truly a mixed-bag of genres as she finds her musical identity away from Girls Aloud, as well as giving fans a glimpse at her own preference when it comes her taste in music.
Final Thought: Cheryl takes listeners on a musical journey, winding her way through a complex variety of sounds and musical tastes with the outcome being a strong, confident pop album which is sure to set the charts on fire.
MTV.co.uk verdict: 9/10
A Million Lights is released on Monday, 18th June.
By Joanne Dorken @mtvuknews
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