1. The tune in question is called ‘It’s About Time’.
2. Robbo wrote it with The Invisible Men and James Draper, who then also went on to produce it. The last time Cheryl, Nicola and The Invisible Men worked in a similar way a rather good tune called ‘On The Metro’ was magiced into life, so this is a popmaking outfit with form.
3. The music is breezy and carefree with housey pianos and a very distinct whiff of Bobby Brown’s ‘Two Can Play That Game’.
4. Lyrically, on the other hand… Well, the breeziness is not constant. This is an oscillating fan of a pop song. ‘It’s About Time’ is a song that says, “look, do you know what, everything’s been a bit shit of late on the romance front but I’ve given it some thought and I’ve decided that I’ll give this old ‘love’ business another go and see what happens.”
5. However, given the involvement of eminent tunesmith Nicola Roberts on songword duties, it says all that with a considerably higher level of lyrical aplomb. The song opens with Cheryl explaining that she’s been “asking myself if living without a feeling is really living; is having everything any good if everything’s all you have?” By this she means that she has a nice house, several enviable frocks and a box in the garage containing more fake eyelashes than she could ever want, but that’s all just rubbish without a nice bit of love. Then things get a bit dark. “I locked myself away,” Cheryl explains. “I became untouchable, got colder by the day.” But then there’s light! Cheryl realises that there’s “nothing in my way – just the person in the mirror”, before exclaiming “take me to the flame, it’s now or never!” An emotional rollercoaster we’re sure you’ll agree, and it’s not even at the first chorus yet. For that chorus Cheryl decides that it’s about time (hence the name of the song) she starts loving again. “I won’t give in til my heart beats again,” she sings. “Will somebody show me what I’ve been missing?”
6. Given that Nicola – unlike a lot of the people who’ll tend to fling songs in Cheryl’s direction – is Actual Friends with the person she’s writing for, you would do well to surmise that the emotional states outlined above are an unusually accurate account of what it’s like to have been Cheryl during dark times. And you’d also guess that it’s a realistic portrayal of how and why Cheryl eventually chose to propel herself out of GLOOM AND DESPAIR. “For all that time I was so scared of flying so I stuck to the running,” Cheryl sings in the second verse. “But I’m not running any more – I’m dancing my nights away.”
7. Despite only featuring 40% of Girls Aloud this is well over 40% as good as a Girls Aloud song, which must be a good thing.
8. In the middle eight Cheryl sings of “each bottled up emotion, each tear I never cried – I need a big explosion, it’s time for me to fly”. Nicola often has a rather beautiful way of looking at life and “I need a big explosion” is indeed a beautiful description of the way we must all, at one point, have looked at The World Of Romance. After all, who shouldn’t be allowed a big explosion every now and again? Terrorists, obviously, but apart from that? Exactly.