What do you get when you mix three pop sensations into a smash hit single? A recipe for a number one hit, that’s what. The much-anticipated Bang Bang has finally been released and boy, has it caused a stir. Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj have all been extremely busy and in-demand, each of them set to release a new album this year. Bang Bang, released as a three- way joint single, is already guaranteed a spot on the track lists of Jessie J’s third album and Grande’s My Everything. In fact, this single is just a little taste of what Jessie J has in store for us in 2014.
Anyone who’s ever heard a Jessie J or Grande song should expect no less than a powerhouse anthem in Bang Bang. It’s fast-paced, cheeky and exciting, with Jessie J opening the track with her famous belt. We hear something different from the singer this time; Jessie J has veered away from the electronic/dance genre in favour for a groovier, 60s inspired track. The retro hooks, the short bursts of brass; it’s almost like a sequel to Grande’s earlier hit, Problem – which coincidentally, is engineered by the same producer of Bang Bang, none other than Max Martin himself. Martin, famous for producing hits for the likes of Britney Spears and Katy Perry, has whipped up what sounds like a mix between Austin Powers and Hairspray. Of course Grande would feature on the track, given her speciality in 60’s inspired R&B. But for Jessie J to record such a retro hit – is this signalling a new musical sound for the pop singer?
It’s not that Jessie J doesn’t pull it off. Heck, her attitude is what outshines Grande in this gem of a track. Jessie J barrels in with her big voice in a no-holds-barred approach, whilst Grande chimes in with a cheeky verse and an occasional cooing with her whistle voice. You could say that Jessie J is the big guns of the single, whilst Grande brings in a touch of sweetness to even it all out. Then there’s Nicki Minaj, who’s contribution is a hard and fast rap that’s appropriate for the song title – “bang bang”, indeed. It’s refreshing to hear Minaj keeping the obscenities to a minimum; her verse is bold and at times sultry, but it’s still radio friendly stuff. It’s a shame we don’t hear a little more of her – if she had done a small intro, then the song could truly be called a joint three-way track. Nonetheless, it’s Jessie J and Grande’s voices that are the main jewels, especially Jessie’s sky-scraping acapella solo which just about knocks your socks off. However, it does get a bit too much at times, especially near the end, where both artists are belting at the top of their lungs in what seems like a bid to out-sing the other.
It’s an exciting sneak peek to what the girls have prepared for us in their new albums, and Bang Bang is a smart manoeuvre in order to get everybody excited. It’s unapologetically bold and empowering, and damn well suited to the personalities of all three artists. In the words of Jessie J, Grande and Minaj: “bang bang, there goes your heart!” You’ve sure got that right, girls.