Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree
|Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree|
|Studio album by Diana Vickers|
|Released||30 April 2010|
|Recorded||March 2009 – January 2010|
|Studio||LSL Studios, Strongroom, Untouchable Sound Studios
|Diana Vickers chronology|
|Singles from Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree|
Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree is the debut studio album by English singer and songwriter Diana Vickers. Originally set for a November 2009 release, the album was postponed due to Vickers' leading role in the West End play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, and it was finally released on 3 May 2010 in the United Kingdom.
Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree debuted atop the UK Albums Chart, selling 35,951 copies in its first week of release. In August 2010, the album was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). "Once" was released on 19 April 2010 as the lead single from the album, peaking at number one on the UK Singles Chart.
Shortly after being eliminated from The X Factor in 2008, it was announced that Vickers had been signed to RCA Records and that she had begun working on her debut album. Recorded between April 2009 to January 2010, a five-track album sampler was leaked in January 2010. The track "Jumping Into Rivers" had previously been leaked in July 2009. The track listing and artwork was changed a number of times, causing delays. The album title came from a track written by Chris Braide and Vickers called "The Boy Who Murdered Love", about which she later stated:
Basically, I co-wrote a song with Chris Braide called "The Boy Who Murdered Love" and there's a line in there about a tainted cherry tree and I found it very poetic. It painted imagery of the forbidden fruit and Adam and Eve and this boy that's absolutely beautiful and so tempting but so wrong for you!— Vickers
Braide also collaborated with Vickers on three other tracks, "Me & You", "Four Leaf Clover" and "N.U.M.B", which were recorded at the songwriter-producer's London studio. The debut album saw Vickers work with an array of other writers and producers including Nerina Pallot, Andy Chatterley, Ellie Goulding, Cass Lowe, Savan Kotecha, Alexis Strum, Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion, Guy Sigsworth and Starsmith. Vickers's debut single, "Once", was co-penned by Cathy Dennis and Eg White, and produced and mixed by Mike Spencer. Vickers also collaborated with Gary Lightbody, the frontman of the alternative rock band Snow Patrol. The album contains a cover version of The Sugarcubes' 1992 song "Hit".
"Once" was released as the album's lead single on 19 April 2010. Upon its release it generated mainly positive reviews from critics, with the most positive coming from Nick Levine of Digital Spy who called it a "straight up brain-invader" with a "huge chorus" that is "hard to ignore". The single achieved commercial success by topping the UK Singles Chart and debuting at number three on the Irish Singles Chart.
"The Boy Who Murdered Love" was confirmed as the second single by Vickers on Twitter on 7 May 2010. The music video premiered on 2 June 2010 via the MSN video player. The song was officially released on 18 July 2010, reaching number 36 on the UK Singles Chart.
|The Irish Times|||
|London Evening Standard|||
|The Observer||Fairly negative|
Upon its release, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree received mixed reviews from music critics. Mayer Nissim of Digital Spy stated that Vickers and her collaborators "have crafted an album that's drenched in accessible pop melodies while never sacrificing the charm and personality". Kevin Courtney of The Irish Times commented that "[t]he blend of pop and indie works in her favour—and having a few catchy songs helps." Johnny Dee of Virgin Media deemed it commercial but without sacrificing Vickers's "slightly eccentric charms" and noticed that it "works best [...] when it's mixing beats with folky whisperings", concluding that "[t]he girl's done great." musicOMH's Ben Urdang stated that "Vickers manages to achieve a consistency throughout so that the album sits comfortably as a fluid piece of work". He went on to add that although the album is not "groundbreaking nor perfect", it is "a solid start to her recording career". Mike Diver from BBC Music praised Vickers's voice for the ability to "stand out from any crowd" but was not astounded by the lyrics and the album as a whole, stating that the impression it leaves is "compromised by songwriting by committee" and noticed that it would have been "considerably improved" with "[a] little more compositional guile".
Elizabeth Sankey of the NME faulted the album for its "telling lack of objectivity", adding that "if [Vickers had] concentrated on one genre, this might have been victorious." The Independent's Simon Price opined that the album "consists mostly of forgettable dance pop and folktronica" and that it "doesn't stand out", while Dan Gennoe of Yahoo! Music noted that it is "too busy trying to keep everyone happy to be anything other than indistinct and polite". David Smyth from the London Evening Standard felt that Vickers's voice is "almost indistinguishable" from Ellie Goulding's and concluded by saying that "her songs are blander but the public seems open to a singer who will do more interesting work than this [the debut]". Hugh Montgomery of The Observer felt that "despite employing indie-minded collaborators such as Ellie Goulding and Lightspeed Champion", the album was "given over to commercial box-ticking, matching generic electro-pop with the kind of tasteful balladry that suggests a Dido in-waiting."
Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 35,951 copies in its first week. The album was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 27 August 2010, denoting shipments in excess of 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom. In Ireland, the album debuted and peaked at number seven on the Irish Albums Chart.
To promote the album, Vickers went on a tour or the United Kingdom and Ireland throughout 2010.
|2.||"Remake Me + You"||Sigsworth||3:35|
|3.||"The Boy Who Murdered Love"||
|4.||"Four Leaf Clover"||
|5.||"Put It Back Together"||Nerina Pallot||
|6.||"You'll Never Get to Heaven"||Starsmith||4:02|
|7.||"Me & You"||
|12.||"Jumping Into Rivers"||
|iTunes Store bonus videos|
|14.||"Track by Track Commentary"||11:16|
|15.||"Once" (Making of the Video)||4:03|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|Ireland||30 April 2010||RCA|||
|United Kingdom||3 May 2010|||
|Poland||5 July 2010||CD||Sony|||
|Germany||6 August 2010||
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