I’m sorry Jessie J. I wanted to like your album, I really did. But having listened to it on and off (mostly off) for the past week, there is simply no escaping the fact that it’s literally NOT VERY GOOD!
Like many, I had such high hopes for Jessie. After Lily Allen decided that being a pop star was a bit shit and went off to become a shopkeeper, there was suddenly a gap in the market for a ballsy, British female singer (don’t even THINK about it Katie Waissel!).
I assumed Jessie J would fit effortlessly into this role, after she blew my face off with this amazing rendition of Mamma Knows Best on her bedroom floor (nice laminate BTW!). She even had an immaculately groomed statement fringe, and that is ALWAYS a good thing.
When she released her debut single Do It Like a Dude, I also realised that Jessie J had SWAGGER (which in a post-Cher Lloyd pop landscape is essential) and could deploy all manner of terribly urban phrases such as ‘mandem’. Yep, Jessie was still on course to become the pop star I hoped she would be.
But things took a nosedive with the release of her second single, Price Tag which (despite all evidence to the contrary) was not about torrenting music, but was supposed to promote peace and love or some such bollocks. Quite frankly, not even a bit-part from B.o.B. could rescue this single, and suddenly even Jessie’s urban phrasebook started to sound a bit naff – are people really still using the word ‘bling’?
And so after a whistle-stop promotional tour wearing an assortment of edgy (aka not very nice) bodystockings, we finally arrive at the release of her debut album, Who You Are and Jessie’s swan-dive into mediocrity is complete.
So what’s it like? Gone is the likeable swagger of Do It Like a Dude, and instead Jessie labours her way through a succession of forgettable mid-tempo bilge and snooze-worthy ballads. Even Mamma Knows Best (which I previously loved) proves to be an exhausting experience once the novelty wears off.
But should my disappointment with Jessie J really come as much of a surprise? Given that her previous claim to fame was having written one of the most obnoxious songs of all time… THE SIGNS WERE THERE!
Oh well, hopefully things will pick up for Jessie J with album number two. In the meantime, COME BACK LILY ALLEN!
UPDATE: Jessie J was on Radio 1′s Live Lounge today and was quite good! But her album is still a bit rubbish. Sorry :(
Pop Specs rating: