Skylar Grey had her coming out party at the Grammy's. Now she's taking her new look and sound to Lollapalooza.

Editor’s Note: We’ve teamed up with Do312.com and its network of bloggers to help preview every musical act at Lollapalooza. We’ve been assigned to write about six performers at the early August music festival in Grant Park. Unlike when Man Up Chicago usually writes about music, these articles aren’t necessarily endorsements of the musical acts. We’re simply helping Do312.com take on the massive task of previewing everyone who is performing at Lollapalooza.

Artist: Skylar Grey.
When she is playing: 2:30 pm on Saturday, August 6 at the BMI stage.

3 Reasons to see Her
She has a great voice: Skylar Grey is a rarity: she’s a pop act with amazing pipes. Just ask all the talented pop and rap stars who’ve worked with her to create hit songs. They all called on her, and keep calling on her to sing on their tracks for a reason.

She might be this generation’s Nate Dogg: Skylar Grey’s vocals have helped make Fort Minor’s “Where’d You Go,” Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor,” Diddy – Dirty Money’s “I’m coming home” and Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said” hit songs. Plus, her vocals could easily be substituted on Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” (she wrote the hook for that song, which is performed by Rihanna). We can’t remember a singer other than Nate Dogg that rappers turned so frequently to crank out memorable hooks.

Her famous friends could join her on stage: Skylar Grey is probably more accomplished than the majority of musical acts at this year’s Lollapalooza, and she’s got the famous friends to prove it. We’re specifically talking about Eminem, who is performing at Lollapalooza on Saturday night. Lollapalooza peformers big and small have never shied away from making guest appearances with other acts (we recall Lady Gaga joining Semi Precious Weapons during an afternoon set last year), so perhaps Eminem will join Grey during her set. Obviously, we expect her to join him for his evening performance of “Love the Way you Lie.”

Skylar Grey used to perform under the name Holly Brook. Her look and sound was different back then. As was the wallpaper she stood in front of for press photos.

And 2 Reasons Not to See Her
She’s set the bar too high with her pop-song hooks: Skylar Grey’s resume would indicate she’s on the path toward stardom, but we don’t see the songs she’s written for herself eclipsing the tracks she’s contributed on for other artists. If you’re expecting songs that are as instantly catchy as the hooks she’s written, we think you’ll be underwhelmed.

Skylar Grey hasn’t found her voice yet: Grey’s old moniker was Holly Brooks, and if you listen to those songs, you might envision her as a shy girl at open mic night in a coffee shop singing about heartbreak. Now that she’s Skylar Grey and not Holly Brooks, she’s done a 180 and is singing pop songs like “Dancing Without You” and “Invisible,” both of which will appear on her new album Invinsible. Her new sound (as well as her new look) are clearly meant to capitalize on her visibility in the pop world. And while she’s really good at writing music for huge music stars, her solo songs don’t sound like hits. Not everyone is meant to be a mega pop star, but Skylar Grey could certainly end up having a Robyn-esque career. She has the talent. But right now, we’re not sold that she’s figured out the best way to make music for herself.

Who we’d rather see at 2:30 pm on Saturday at Lollapalooza: Either Friendly Fires or Fitz & the Tantrums.

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