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Jessie J’s latest album: does it deliver a bang?

Latest effort from pop star is radio-ready, but not necessarily incredible

Pop sensation Jessie J is the soulful, scratchy voice you hear on the radio and think, “Dang, that girl has pipes.” Her latest album “Sweet Talker” lends itself to that notion, compiling tracks of what will surely be (when Ryan Seacrest decides they are worthy of his precious Top 40 station) top-of-the-charts hits.

Most notably, the album includes mega-hit “Bang Bang,” featuring Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande, but continues building a collection of possible radio gems with tracks like “Burnin’ Up”, featuring rapper 2 Chainz, and “Ain’t Been Done.”

Granted, these first six tracks or so are not what one would classify as really good music, but they are really catchy. Jessie J integrates hints of her own rap and lays a strong beat in the background of many songs throughout the track listing. She complements these poppy hits with intimate tracks like “Personal” and “Fire,” which remind us she too has feelings like her fanbase.

Unfortunately, it seems the artist front-loaded the first half of her album, which experiences a steep drop-off when reaching track seven, “Masterpiece.” The latter half of the album is almost too experimental in its style, reverting back to old R&B and soul sounds in “Seal Me with a Kiss” featuring De La Soul and bubble-gum pop songs like “Said Too Much;” the latter of which sounds way “too much” like a track dropped from Kelly Clarkson’s latest album.

This said, experimenting with different sounds and styles isn’t always a bad choice for singers. But these last six tracks are just too bizarre and unpleasant, and quite frankly a disappointment compared to the front half of the album. Fortunately, Jessie J nevertheless has a lot to look forward to, because the first few tracks from “Sweet Talker” will fuel Top 40 fire for months to come.


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