Review - Jessie J - Sweet Talker
Jessie wasn’t taking any chances here, as she knew she needed a big album with some hits. Her last effort did fairly well in the UK (as these things go), but compared to her debut, which was MASSIVE, it was a bit of a letdown. In fact, her label clearly didn’t have a lot of faith in its global appeal, as they never released it in the United States. Instead, they set her to work immediately on LP number three, pairing her with every hitmaker in the business.
The number of producers and songwriters on Sweet Talker is actually pretty ridiculous. The-Dream, Ricky Reed (better known as Wallpaper.), Diplo, Max Martin, Ammo, Steve Mac (as well as half a dozen more) are just some of the big-name producers, and only represent a handful of the 52 songwriters that came together to create the fifteen tracks on the deluxe edition. Yes, 52. I know.
So, was it worth it? Upon first listen, it doesn’t sound like that many people were necessary, and it just goes to show that more isn’t always better. The album is good—certainly better than her previous effort—and I can hear many of the tracks being big singles in the UK. Jessie has expressed her interest in moving to the US, as she feels we will appreciate her more than they do in England, even though she’s had 15 top 40 hits over there.
Sadly, I don’t hear too much here that will perform terribly well in the US. It’s all solid pop music with a throwback R&B edge, but there’s just something missing—that certain something that defines a smash in America.
Sweet Talker also solidifies what I’ve long thought about Jessie J: she’s a great singer, and far from an artist. The entire project feels a bit desperate, like she’ll do absolutely anything for a hit. I’m well aware that plenty of pop artists pull stunts and need the media’s attention, but there are different ways of doing it. Where someone like Ke$ha put out silly electropop singles about getting drunk, they were exceptionally well done, and felt genuine. Nothing on Sweet Talker feels like Jessie’s heart was in it. In fact, it feels like a less-dancey Britney album: fun, well produced, plainly-written, and you enjoy it while knowing she had little to do with it’s creation.
Listen to: “Bang Bang”, “Burnin Up (ft. 2 Chainz)”, “Strip”, “Fire”, “Keep Us Together”