Size 372.998 MB 0 seeders Added 2013-04-27 18:31:35
1 Price Tag (feat. B.o.B) 2 Nobody’s Perfect 3 Abracadabra 4 Big White Room 5 Casualty of Love 6 Rainbow 7 Who's Laughing Now 8 Do It Like a Dude 9 Mama Knows Best 10 L.O.V.E. 11 Stand Up 12 I Need This 13 Who You Are 14 Price Tag (Acoustic) 15 Do It Like a Dude (Acoustic) 16 Who You Are (Acoustic) At least in the United States, it seems as though Jessie J has been thrust into the spotlight without any warning. There's an uncomfortable inevitability about her sudden stardom, as though superproducer Dr. Luke and the people at Universal Music Group decreed that she would be huge whether we wanted her or not. So far she's done okay-- her single "Price Tag" is performing well at pop radio and digital retail-- but it's hard to say whether she's going to have much traction in the U.S. market. Mainly, Jessie J seems to be surplus to demand. The contemporary pop landscape is already crowded with well-defined female pop stars-- postmodern disco artiste Lady Gaga, fierce soul goddess Beyoncé, slovenly party girl Ke$ha, cheesecake goofball Katy Perry, cyborg sexpot Britney Spears, troubled ice queen Rihanna, and perennial underdog Robyn. Jessie J is much more of a cipher; she is set apart mainly by the fact that she is British, though her accent only occasionally comes through in her performances. She comes across like a severely dumbed-down Lily Allen at best, and at worst she seems like someone you would want to root against in a televised singing competition. Her approach to song selection on her debut album reinforces the singing-competition vibe-- the music is scattered, covering all the bases in an over-eager attempt to prove vocal chops. It's very ironic, then, that she titled the record Who You Are, because she does pretty much everything but assert a coherent identity over the course of 13 tracks. Jessie J, otherwise known as Jessica Cornish, already had a successful career as a songwriter going before becoming a pop star in her own right. Most notably, she co-wrote Miley Cyrus' hit "Party in the U.S.A." with Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly. Clearly she has some chemistry with these two, as the most tolerable cuts on Who You Are happen to be collaborations with them. Very faint praise, though: "Price Tag" sounds like Nelly Furtado fronting Sugar Ray, and "Abracadabra" could pass for a reasonably decent Natasha Bedingfield deep cut. Cornish co-wrote the rest of the tracks with various writers, and the results are competent but generic. In some cases, it is all too obvious that the writers are trying to write a "type" of song. "Casualty of Love", for example, sounds like Alicia Keys' wonderful "If I Ain't Got You" stripped of melodic complexity, ambiance, soul, and sentimental resonance. The single "Do It Like a Dude" is dancehall pastiche that isn't too far off from Robyn's "Dancehall Queen", but trades that singer's warmth and humanity for spiteful hectoring. The acoustic ballad "Big White Room" aims for beautiful simplicity, but its delicacy is drowned out by a clumsy and overwrought vocal performance. Jessie J's persona seems most defined when she is being totally obnoxious. Though she mostly sticks to the predictable un-nuanced phrasing of many young singers desperate to prove that they possess a "good voice," she sometimes employs a snarky singsong that is very shrill, but at least somewhat distinct. She goes over the top with this affectation on the bratty rocker "Who's Laughing Now", a song that could very well be the nadir of modern pop's fixation with attacking "haters." The track has her lashing out against acquaintances who she claims bullied her and dissed her early music, but now show an interest in her since she has attained some degree of success. While it is fair to distrust people who transparently want a piece of you, the details in the lyrics seem a bit too minor to merit her intense vitriol. The song is a humorless expression of galling entitlement; the sound of a person who will conflate any form of criticism or disapproval with an attempt to crush her soul. "Who's Laughing Now" seems to be pitched as a motivational song, but it's so narcissistic and myopic that it's hard to imagine anyone connecting with the singer's petty grudges and desperate need for constant affirmation. Cornish is an alum of London's prestigious BRIT School, the arts academy that has launched the careers of several notable young British singers including Amy Winehouse, Adele, Katy B, Jamie Woon, and Kate Nash. Weirdly, of this crop of singers, only Cornish very obviously seems like a person who went to a school for pop stars, with all the tackiness that would imply. She shares their polish and poise, but none of her peers' individual style. Whereas Adele and Winehouse also have powerhouse voices, they fit into clear aesthetic niches and invest their songs with depth and humanity. Jessie J doesn't have even a fraction of their restraint; her idea of showcasing her gift is to shoot for a blaring melisma on "Mamma Knows Best" that makes Christina Aguilera seem as subtle as Joni Mitchell by comparison. On the same weekend Jessie J was getting her first big push in America as the musical guest on "Saturday Night Live", the music video for Rebecca Black's "Friday" was just beginning to spread around the Internet as a viral sensation. "Friday" took off because people were calling it the worst song ever and mocking its dopey lyrics and awkward approximation of standard modern pop tropes. The biggest difference between Black's song and the contents of Who You Are is that while Jessie J gets the expected formula of pop "right," the hapless Black gets it "wrong." But in that "wrongness" lies a humanity that J cannot approach. Even through bad vocal processing, Black sounds like a specific person. Also, the lyrics of "Friday" may be undeniably clunky, but there is a magic to them that makes the song funny and immensely quotable, like a lot of great pop songs throughout history. Jessie J's lyrics are no less banal and artless, but they lack charm entirely. When she's not going off on bitter rants against those who doubt her, she mainly sings forgettable boilerplate or spouts vapid utopian nonsense, as on the utterly nauseating "Rainbow". Black gets attacked for representing the worst of modern pop, but she's a gawky 13-year-old amateur backed up by a Z-grade production company. If you need to rail against dumb, soulless music, Jessie J is a far better target.
|Jessie J - 2011 - Who You Are/01 - Price Tag (Ft. B.O.B).flac||29.044 MB|
|Jessie J - 2011 - Who You Are/02 - Nobody's perfect.flac||34.34 MB|
|Jessie J - 2011 - Who You Are/03 - Abracadabra.flac||29.85 MB|