Hard to recall not even two years later, but there was a time when Skylar Grey's voice was virtually unavoidable on the radio. Singing the hooks to Diddy - Dirty Money's "Coming Home," Dr. Dre's "I Need a Doctor" and Lupe Fiasco's "Words I Never Said" all within a couple months of each other—just about a half-year after writing one of the biggest hits of the decade with Eminem and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie"—it seemed like Grey might be on the cusp of some kind of singer/songwriter stardom. It wasn't yet to be, however, as big debut single "Invisible" tanked (and rightly so—song was fucking terrible) and her debut album (as Skylar Grey anyway) was pushed back to next year.
Now, Skylar appears to be trying a different approach. New single "C'mon Let Me Ride" is a much more up-tempo, poppy, sexual-to-the-point-of-schlocky single, with a guest verse from Eminem (and a post-chorus of him interpolating Queen's "Bicycle Ride"), and lyrics like "If you got a sweet tooth, you can taste my watermelon" and "If you got a bee sting, let me suck out all the poison." It's about a complete 180 from the personal, diary-confession sort of hooks we'd come to expect from Grey, and it's a little too stunning a role reversal to actually assess how good it is (though we're guessing the answer to that is somewhere in the "not particularly" range).
But regardless of how jarring the song is, it's nothing compared to the single cover. I mean, look at this thing:
The number of pop stars usually game for over-sexualized, utterly ridiculous publicity shots that would probably draw the line well short of this single cover is probably countless, and we're guessing includes the likes of Rihanna, Lana Del Rey and probably even Fergie. It's hard to know where to begin with this one—the open-snap jean shorts, the mountain bike-mud-boots combo, the "how long do I have to hold this super-uncomfortable-in-all-meanings-of-the-world pose for?" facial expression, or even the way the "Skylar Grey" name text fades into the clouds above. It's all a masterpiece of "Hey, let's go in another direction with this one" marketing.
Interesting to see if Skylar has more success with this approach. We hope not, mostly because it'll be funny to see what further incongruous personality Skylar returns with for round three.