Listening to Vibe in the shower today, I was stunned when Aretha’s “Respect” failed to shame completely the current single that followed it. Cherie’s “Number 1” is sung so well, pumps along so brightly, and is produced so smartly that you’d never guess she was from, er, Berkshire. As is sadly so often the lot of the black diva, Cherie’s man gone done her wrong, but—unlike her paler peers of the Dido persuasion—she ain’t takin’ no more. She had me swinging my metaphorical pants behind the curtain like a coloured backing singer on a Rolling Stones tour. So, once I’d dried off, I went a-surfing for more information. Cherie’s Number 1 is number 10 on Blues and Soul‘s “Hip List“. If you are ‘banded up you can watch the video online here. Bless her, Cherie’s got flesh on her bones too.

When I tried to hunt that track down, I also stumbled upon this Cherie. Think of the terrible disappointment of people who buy tickets for the wrong US tour. The American Cherie is, in fact, a French Cherie, but her latest single samples the superb rhythm guitar part from Foreigner’s best ever single, “Urgent“. “I’m Ready” is performed by a ‘shopped up teenager with enviable hair; it is no doubt produced and engineered by some anonymous LA hitmeisters; the whole package is slickly promoted on the Interweb by the global music factory that is now Atlantic (albeit disguised as “Lava Records”); and, to cap it all, it rides on a looped groove excreted twenty years ago by corporate rock dinosaurs working in collaboration with Thomas Dolby. In short, is almost everything your average* NME music journalist detests. In short, it is almost everything pop should be.

[*Is “average” redundant here?]