Urban Contemporary, 2014
I have to give Jessie J credit for trying – despite the fact that she often looks like their awkward aunt from the UK with an even more awkward accent, she has no qualms competing with the likes of Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, and the like for a slice of the pop tart pie. Sweet Talker is clearly created with an American audience in mind, so good luck to her as she tries to do what many before her had failed.
The thing is, Sweet Talker is full of nondescript generic songs that resemble the songs churned out by her younger or more beautiful counterparts. These tunes are the same old urban-style uptempo songs mixed with some ballads, and all of them sound like something I’ve heard before. Bang Bang is memorable, I suppose, if only because it also features Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, and there are some caterwauling involved. The title track sounds like something Katy Perry would do, and… well, everything else sounds like it’s been done by someone younger, prettier, and with a better body for music video. When a guest rapper talks about how she’s the white filling in the Oreo of him and his best friend, it’s hard to believe that they are rapping about anything other than a party where someone’s drunk aunt crashes in and makes a fool of herself in front of the guests. I’d expect better music would be the right approach to stand out from the rest, but oh well.
Also, Jessie J has a tendency to contort her voice into an unappealing screech, so otherwise decent tracks like Personal end up making me wince when she goes all angry parrot-like on the ears. She has a pretty good voice, but I’m not sure that she’s using it to the best of her advantage.
Oh well, Smooth Talker is basically an average and formulaic album that tries very hard to turn Jessie J into something she doesn’t carry off too well. One may easily mistake this album to be some karaoke singer’s tribute album to Katy Perry.