Never in these past several weeks have I been so glad I have a Guilty Pleasures column as when I heard Cher Lloyd’s “Want U Back.” This girl shows what you can do with common denominators when you just multiply yourself by enough of them.

Okay, let’s start with her name: Cher Lloyd. Say it out loud. Now say it again, in an adorably saucy British accent like hers. Fun, right? It just gets better from there.

Her age? 18. Her rise to fame? Reality TV (The X Factor). Her celebrity sponsor? Simon Cowell. Her American celebrity sponsor? L.A. Reid. Her sound? Avril Lavigne meets Lady Sovereign meets Selena Gomez meets Skrillex. Her look? Gravity-defying bangs, sparkly tube top, crazy-print boots. Her relationship status? Engaged. Her reaction to criticism of her plan to marry while only a teenager? “I’m from a Gypsy background! I’m meant to be married by now.” Her would-be married name? Mrs. Monk.

“Want U Back” is as irresistible as anything in the top 40 right now, with a singalong chorus, a hook that ropes a dubstep grind into a prancing pop beat complemented by Lloyd’s effortless warble, and best of all, those staccato grunt-growls that, in this context, have an oddly liberating effect. Sugar is best when it comes with spice, and after all, Lloyd’s already lost The X Factor. What else does she have to lose? In both televised and non-televised reality, living well is the best revenge.

Words by Jay Gabler, a co-founder and co-editor of The Tangential.

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