Australian pop sensation Jessica Mauboy is no stranger to success; her three studio albums have reached Platinum and Gold certifications in her home country, she was the supporting act for Beyonce’s Australian leg of her tour in 2009 and Chris Brown’s tour in 2011, AND she was selected to represent Australia’s worship of the Eurovision Song Contest at the 2014 edition of the competition, delivering an outstanding performance of Sea Of Flags; all among various other achievements that make Australia proud to call her theirs. Now Jessica has teamed up with iTunes to release a special iTunes Session EP, 7 tracks that will make fans nostalgic with new takes on a selection of Jess’ older material, as well as some refreshing recordings of some of her most recent.
Brass and strings open up the once poppy Inescapable, the hit’s arrangement for the session is a breath of the freshest air; Mauboy’s voice is raw and seemingly untouched by the hands of production, the harmonies are subtle yet nice. Jess turns back the clock with a jazzy and edgier take on her second hit Burn, again her vocals are right on par, you can’t deny that so far this release is a wonderful example of how pop singers can really turn it up a notch and blow us all away with a version of their song you would never think could even exist. The piano leads us into a more stripped back version of Jess’ most recent single Never Be The Same, again her undeniable talent is commendable as the songstress breezes through her power house of a vocal range.
Wow is the appropriate word of use with the new version of Jess’ first smash Running Back, the introduction is almost unrecognisable and she really works with her backing singers in this one; the violin playing in the chorus sounds absolutely beautiful, the whole arrangement is genius. Reminding us of her acclaimed role in the 2012 film The Sapphires, Jess belts out her cover of the hit Who’s Loving You; written by Smokey Robinson and made desirable to cover by The Jackson 5, it was only right for Jess to record a version of the track with a voice like hers and the new recording doesn’t disappoint. Jess tackles Frank Ocean’s Thinkin’ Bout You with more justice than the original, again showing what she can do to shake things up a little; the strings and acoustic guitar team up with bass and percussion to deliver a stripped back version of the hit single Pop A Bottle, the perfect way to end the session.
Jessica Mauboy’s iTunes Session is a masterpiece; Australia is already familiar with the talent running through the singer’s veins, this new release reminds us that there is more to the recording artist behind the production and the beats that generalise pop music. Hardcore fans of Jess Mauboy should be certain to appreciate the amount of love for music that has gone into the recording for the iTunes Session, the new versions shine bright and give listeners a familiar listening experience in unfamiliar territory; Jess Mauboy has always had a lot going for her and Australia should be proud.