Jessie J’s ‘Sweet Talker’: Review Revue
Jessie J reigned in her career by focusing on dominating the U.S. market, with her latest album Sweet Talker (out today, October 14). The singer’s third studio LP is her attempt to breaking into the Top 40, which was a harder feat for her since she mainly gained traction in the UK. But does the album live up to its expectations of being an eye-catching pop masterpiece?
In our review, we wrote “‘Bang Bang’ was effective enough to help the singer stage a stateside comeback. But the all-star team (Diplo, The-Dream, Tricky Stewart) behind the toned-down Sweet Talker failed to tackle the problem that first pervaded her schizophrenic 2011 debut, Who You Are: Vocal tricks aside, Jessie J doesn’t have a clear sense of identity.
So did other music critics agree with our sentiments? Read on after the jump to see their commentary.
:: A.V. Club was quite blunt in their review: “However, she continues to be malleable to a fault, channeling Pink (the sparse, piano-sparked R&B slow-burn ‘Personal’), Rihanna (the title track, co-written by Diplo) and Demi Lovato (‘Said Too Much,’ a radio-ready anthem built with Europop precision). Most of all, Jessie J lands in the ballpark of Katy Perry’s earnest, melismatic warbling, yet without the playfulness or personality the latter brings to her candy-colored pop.”
:: Drowned In Sound didn’t sugarcoat their thoughts either: “Sweet Talker is as hollow as it gets, though. It’s the audio equivalent of a Buzzfeed list. There’s barely a narrative other than posturing. It’s not really an album, more a relentless ad campaign. I’m not buying it and neither should you.”
:: Slant Magazine gave it two-and-a-half stars: “But the rest of Sweet Talker is dominated by generic power ballads like ‘Your Loss I’m Found’ and forgettable midtempos like ‘Keep Us Together.’ If all Jessie’s label wanted was a few bangers, they could have saved themselves some time and money by tacking them onto a repackaged version of Alive and calling it a day.”
:: AllMusic didn’t think it carried enough mainstream weight: “While it’s arguable that Minaj‘s mile-a-minute rapping and 2014’s pop It Girl Grande steal the show from Jessie, “Bang Bang” did get her back on the charts and on people’s minds in the U.S. The rest of Sweet Talker doesn’t quite capitalize on that hit’s sound or momentum; recorded in just three weeks, it finds J trying as many sounds and styles as possible in the hope that something will stick.”
:: Digital Spy was a little nicer on the songstress: “Overall, though, Sweet Talker is a solid effort from Miss Cornish that will surely reignite her international profile. She may have taken a slight professional knock, but with renewed focus and a gutsy attitude, this is one popstar who is far from being down and out.”
:: Lastly, Entertainment Weekly wrapped up their review with this: “Best of all, she doesn’t force the stuff in between; instead, she merely shrugs off the record’s more repetitive melodies with casual grace and moves on. It turns out all Jessie J needed to make a leap forward was to take a few steps back.”
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