3 Words is the debut studio album from British pop singer Cheryl Cole, released on 23 October 2009 by Fascination Records. The project is Cole’s first solo release following a break from releasing material with her band Girls Aloud whom after seven years have enjoyed five successful albums and twenty consecutive top-ten singles.
1. 3 Words
4. Fight For This Love
5. Rain On Me
6. Make Me Cry
7. Happy Hour
8. Stand Up
9. Don’t Talk About This Love
10. Boy Like You
The album begins with its title track, a duet with will.i.am and Cole’s favourite song on the album. She said the song was “totally different from anything I’ve done [with Girls Aloud] or liked before” and took its inspiration from Cole’s newly acquired love for dance music on the charts, especially David Guetta & Kelly Rowland’s “When Love Takes Over”. “Parachute”, written by singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson and Marshall Altman with production from Syience, was described by Cole as “left-of-field” and “unique”. She cited “you are your own worst enemy, you’ll never win the fight” as her favourite lyric from the album. Cole also noted that it was a contender for the album’s lead single. “Heaven”, another will.i.am production, was the first song to be co-written and recorded by Cole for 3 Words and for that reason holds “a special meaning” to Cole. It contains a sample of “Is You” by D.I.M., written by Andreas Meid.
Cole revealed that the lead single, “Fight for This Love”, came to her in demo form with a male vocalist. Cole said she “knew instantly it was a single”, having “connected with the song so well”. “Rain on Me”, co-written by prolific American songwriters Sam Watters and Louis Biancaniello, was one of the last songs to be recorded for 3 Words. Cole recorded the song in Los Angeles and said the process was “emotional” as the album’s recording was coming to an end.”Make Me Cry” was the first song that Cole recorded with will.i.am in Los Angeles. Cole wrote verses around will.i.am’s hook, which was inspired by his girlfriend. Cole said that she listened to the demo of “Happy Hour”, initially titled “Sweet and Sour”, on repeat because she enjoyed the song so much. She further noted that the song, produced by Soulshock & Karlin, had a “60s sound” and was “one of those tracks that you either really love or you don’t get it.”It interpolates elements of Renaldo Domino’s “Nevermore”, written by Richard Pegue.
“Stand Up” was written and produced by Taio Cruz and Fraser T. Smith. Smith claims that during one day he and Cruz wrote the rejected “Break Your Heart” in the morning and “Stand Up” in the afternoon. Cruz described the song as an “absolute club banger”.The song features an uncredited rap by Cruz, which was originally not present.Cole said it was “one of those instant tracks that make you feel good.””Don’t Talk About This Love” was written by songwriter/producer Chris Braide and Nikola Bedingfield, the younger sister of singers Daniel and Natasha Bedingfield. It was originally recorded by Nikola Bedingfield as the title track for her debut EP. Cole’s A&R at Polydor had remembered the track and suggested she record it with Braide at his studio. Cole was attracted to the song for its lyrics and vibe, saying it “felt right.” In an interview with HitQuarters Braide said, “very emotional song. She said to me, “I really relate to this.” And I don’t know if it had something to do with her personal situation at the time, but … “Boy Like You”, featuring and produced by will.i.am, samples Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 single “Little Lies”, which initially attracted Cole to the song. Cole wanted to take the Fleetwood Mac sample and create something current and modern with it.The album also features the clean single version of will.i.am’s “Heartbreaker”, to which Cole provides the female vocals.
* William “Will.i.am” Adams – Executive producer, featured vocals, background vocals, producer, arrange, mixing, instrumentation
* Louis Biancaniello – instrumentation
* Cheryl Cole – lead vocals, piano, co-executive producer, arrangement
* Taio Cruz – producer, instrumentation
* Carsten Schack, Kenneth Karlin (Soulshock & Karlin) – producers, arrangement, instrumentation, mixing
* Steve Kipner – producer, arrangement
* Nick Knight – photographer
* Reggie “Syience” Perry – producer, arrangement
* Fraser T. Smith – producer, instrumentation
* Samual “Sam” Watters – producer
* Wayne Wilkins – producer, arrangement, mixing
* Tom Coyne – Mastering