Jessie J – Who You Are

Release date: February 28 2011
Label: Lava, Island

Tracklist

  1. Price Tag (featuring B.o.B) [MV]
  2. Nobody’s Perfect [MV]
  3. Abracadabra
  4. Big White Room (Live)
  5. Casualty Of Love
  6. Rainbow
  7. Who’s Laughing Now
  8. Do It Like A Dude [MV]
  9. Mamma Knows Best
  10. L.O.V.E.
  11. Stand Up
  12. I Need This
  13. Who You Are [Live in NYC]

Much comparison has been made between Lady Gaga and relative newcomer London-native Jessie J – fashion-wise, both are pushing boundaries nobody even knew existed. Although Miss Gaga-loo takes the cake for the sheer quantity of her sartorial adventures, Jessie J is still fresh meat on the scene. Her spirited gyrations and bejewelled black lips in Do It Like A Dude are simple, if not a little controversial, beginnings.

She did write Miley Cyrus’ exasperating Party In The USA, take that pop music foundation however you’d like.

Edgy grit-pop was expected from Who You Are, following suit with the lead single. She definitely had the full-bodied voice for it. Unfortunately, as big a vocal talent as she is, you can’t help but think how annoying her personality is. It definitely shines, maybe a little too bright, on Who You Are.

Jessie J really enjoys these ‘broken robot’ vocal inflections, charming at first, on the excellently rowdy Do It Like A Dude, but she does them in every freakin’ song. Even on the ballads. The most murderous offender is Big White Room, a cloying live performance of a sparse acoustic guitar and hearty vibrato. But then when the latter half of the song comes around, the pristine atmosphere is b-b-b-b-b-beaten by those annoying vocal nuances. It’s c-c-c-c-c-crazy.

It’s disheartening when an obvious talent gets suckered into these syrupy pop/R&B jams, with ‘inspirational’ 5th grade lyrics. You’d think that since she writes all her songs, she’d come up with something more original than, “We’re the colours of the rainbow, let’s share our pot of gold” (Rainbow). But lo, Jessie J drowns in the clichéd meanderings of an angsty teenager, which really, isn’t so different from what she is – a neophyte songwriter still trying to find who she is.

Ironic, since Who You Are dances in the flames of personal ambiguity and mis-inspiration.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆ 

Preview it on Xiami | Like it? Buy the album on Amazon.com | iTunes

by Jay de Belen

4 Responses

  1. Roxanne says:

    That’s very sad. I was expecting so much more. I thought exactly the same when I heard “Do It Like a Dude”. When the part of the song where she sings with her regular power-voice came along I was like “OMG she has a banging voice. Use it more!!”

    As the listeners, we should let her know ;D

    • Jay says:

      @Roxanne, I as well was expecting a powerhouse record. Like really, her voice is just… great. And she’s weird, in a good way – never would have I expected her to be as droll as she is. Music team fail.

    • Rodrigo says:

      @Roxanne, When I listened to “Price Tag”, she seemed okay. But I felt second-hand embarrasment while listening to “Do It Like a Dude”.

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