International UK superstar Jessie J sure knows how to make waves, but the way her career has exploded over the last three years it’s been more like a tsunami has hit; her debut album Who You Are topped charts around the globe in 2011 and brought us the smash hit Price Tag, and we’ve been hooked ever since. It’s only been shy of a year since we heard her pop niche evolve with her sophomore effort Alive, which stapled the singer as one of mainstream pop’s finest offerings; not mention she is a phenomenal live performer who delivers a flawless set. Now Jessie has bang banged into the room, not that she ever left it, with her third studio album Sweet Talker.
The energetically charged Ain’t Been Done could be over the top self-appraisal, or it could simply be a track to inspire those who have a belief in themselves; the track is a good opener, its enthusiastic prowess reminds us what Jessie J is set out to do, and that’s to give us a decent dose of pop. Burnin’ Up served as Sweet Talker‘s second single, the song proves to be an inextinguishable flame that sustains your attention, 2 Chainz’ contribution adds dynamic to the track but leaves you feeling like you could’ve heard more; title track Sweet Talker begins as what could’ve been a stripped back piano ballad, but the RnB/pop fusion in this track is also something to be desired, the piano sounds absolutely beautiful and the singer’s voice is right on par. Lead single and retro inspired hit Bang Bang hits the right spots, a collaboration between three of mainstream music’s leading ladies was genius; Jessie J delivers her signature belt, whilst Ariana Grande lays down her strong yet innocent tonal quality, Nicki Minaj’s verse completed the formula as the three girls play at their strengths.
The luscious strings introduce the powerful ballad Fire, which provides another chance to fall in love with Jessie’s voice; she then gets Personal, the first verse is refreshingly raw which but soon the beat kicks in and the lyrics become a tad repetitive. The first impression of Masterpiece was ‘wow’, the edgy strings that introduce and drive the track give off a dark vibe and lyrically the verses identify what the non-believers point out about Jessie’s progress, but the chorus gives way for an anthem that tells the world that she is “perfectly incomplete” and still working on her masterpiece. Seal Me With A Kiss is an airy-fairy bliss of pop, its chorus draws similarities with Abracadabra, a track on her debut album; Said Too Much is another catchy pop number with a lingering chorus.
Loud kind of goes in one ear and out the other, it’s not so much a highlight from the album; Keep Us Together falls into the same boat really, both songs don’t leave a mark like most of the other tracks. Get Away consists of a soothing melody with emotive harmonies, we are dragged back into the world of Jessie as this ballad captivates you; Your Loss I’m Found is an upbeat pop number that demonstrates the singer’s vocal power once again. The tempo and melody of Strip‘s verses are heavily similar to last year’s hit It’s My Party, it has the same sharp edginess with a booming chorus; You Don’t Really Know Me acoustically ends the album with a deep and meaningful concept about pretending you’re fine, but underneath there’s an array of darker emotions being felt.
Jessie J can proudly add Sweet Talker to her ever growing list of great achievements, her third instalment reminds us of why she is here and what she originally set out to do, which was to grace the world with her pop music insight. Overall the album is a good listen, it’s always wonderful hearing what Jessie J can with her voice, particularly in stand out tracks like Burnin’ Up, Sweet Talker, Bang Bang and Masterpiece; however, there were times when the album’s sound was a bit exhausted, particularly with tracks like Personal, Loud and Keep Us Together. Though Sweet Talker isn’t ground breaking stuff, it is what we’ve come to know from Jessie J, her sound has developed and matured since her early days and she’s always a pleasure to listen to.