Jessie J recently announced a permanent move to Los Angeles, spurred in part by the British “not appreciating my voice”.
She rather undermines her case, though, by appearing on the cover of her third album in bra and pants – as if that volcanic voice needs a helping hand after the relative flop of her last album. Further training her sights on America, she’s constructed Sweet Talker to fit a gap somewhere between Beyoncé and Pink.
The latter is conjured up in Masterpiece and Said Too Much, which are heavy with pop-rock melodrama and strength-from-within ruminating; elsewhere, the brash R&B of Burnin’ Up (listen for guest 2 Chainz being thoroughly upstaged) and Seal Me With a Kiss (featuring De La Soul, who utter the word “bloke” as if it’s in a foreign language) will win over US radio programmers.
Your enjoyment will hinge on how you feel about the strained earnestness of her delivery – it’s notable that the best moments come when she uncouples herself from it and just sings for the joy of it, as on the brilliant, fizzy pop banger Bang Bang, a deserved No 1 this summer.
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