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PopWrapped | Music

Album Review: How Sweet Is The Talk On Jessie J's "Sweet Talker?"

Lazaros | PopWrapped Author

Lazaros

Updated 10/19/2014 2:09am
Album Review: How Sweet Is The Talk On Jessie J's
Media Courtesy of Jessie J/Facebook
Jessie J returned to the scene this year and was ready to take over the American audiences this time around with her third studio album, Sweet Talker. The record serves as a follow-up to 2013's not-so-successful Alive, so it pretty much had to deliver. Preceded by the Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj assisted lead single, "Bang Bang", and the 2 Chainz-featuring "Burnin' Up", the record is now in stores for our listening pleasure. So, did Jessie bring it? Sweet Talker kicks off with

"Ain't Been Done"

, which finds her singing all confidence on top of stomping beats and a few strings, setting the right tone for the album. Coming up, the 2 Chainz-assisted

"Burnin' Up"

is the second effort to be lifted from the set. The Axident and Ricky Reed-produced cut is one loud and catchy tune, filled with claps and sirens. On the title track,

 "Sweet Talker"

, Jessie J declares her preference to sweet talking over the looks in a guy. The midtempo R&B ballad manages to combine soft keys with hard-hitting electronic beats and gives the songstress a chance to sing her heart out. Up next, we have the well-known lead single,

"Bang Bang"

. Produced by Max Martin, the cut is one hell of a brassy, powerhouse banger, with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj only making it all better.
The John Newman-penned

"Fire"

serves as a proper midtempo ballad. Dramatic strings fill the production, which is as simple as it gets to allow the songstress some vocal show-off. The track overall is not much, but her voice truly does stand out. Right after, the balladry goes on with

"Personal"

. This one finds Jessie at her most vulnerable, with the emotion in her singing style shining on top of the stripped, riffs-and-keys production.

"Masterpiece"

 is a great mixture of piano, violins and hard-hitting beats and it finds her all confident once again. "You haven’t seen the best of me, I’m still working on my masterpiece", she sings. The midpoint of Sweet Talker is the De La Soul-featuring

"Seal Me With A Kiss"

, a retro, funky pop tune with a soulful twist which samples Funkadelic. Up next,

"Said Too Much"

is a midtempo ballad, but this one goes with a break-up theme. With a production that sounds familiar, it ends up falling rather flat as a whole despite not being that bad. For

"Loud"

, Jessie J teams up with well-known violinist, Lindsey Stirling. With Tricky Stewart and The-Dream on production duties, the songstress calls out the haters on this dramatic ballad, as she belts out them notes.

"Keep Us Together"

is totally laid-back, a breezy love song with a smooth piano-driven melody and something of a 90's-inspired, vintage-pop feeling. The standard edition of Sweet Talker comes to an end on a soft note, with the most stripped-down ballad on it,

"Get Away"

. This one finds the songstress emotionally singing on top of a simple piano line, with the heartbreak seeming more genuine than ever. The deluxe edition goes on with

"Your Loss I'm Foud"

, which is one hell of a power ballad with outstanding vocals, and

"Strip"

, which takes her back to the "Domino" days - all good but we've heard it before. Jessie J lets the curtains fall with

"You Don't Really Know Me"

, a guitar-driven acoustic track about her very own struggle. It's nice that she cuts the belting and beautifully sings in peace for this one indeed.
All in all, Sweet Talker is definitely not a bad album and it's definitely a step up from the weak sound of Alive. The thing is, we can tell Jessie J does have both the looks and the voice, but it's essential that we see where she stands on artistic grounds. At some points, she even seems to be trying too hard with the vocal gymnastics and there's no denying she sounds better when she doesn't. In addition to that, she's not as involved as before on this effort and it would be really nice for her to get to writing her own lyrics again. If anything, the album is loud enough to get her statement heard out there clearly. After all, the era could turn out to be a success with a proper promotional strategies and the right choices made. Score: 7/10  

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