The Problem With... Jessie J's "Price Tag"
In the last quarter, we've seen a handful of British artists arrive at the top of American charts. We've had Adele, with her soul sound that draws in people over 30. Ellie Goulding, too, with her hipster-approved Swedish bicycle. Rapper Tinie Tempah, meanwhile, has doled out some Yeezy-tier productions.
Now comes Jessie J, somewhat of a sleeper in this British wave.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered Jessie co-wrote Miley Cyrus' only good song, "Party in the U.S.A."
Hey, it's better than what Miley's singing nowadays.
My first impression of Jessie J: She's a British version of P!nk. She looks like she's playing the "I'm above today's pop" card to reach the "nitty-gritty, dirty little freak" demographic, as P!nk does. And, like P!nk, she suffers from it.
With her new single, "Price Tag," she wants listeners to think that she's for real, that's she's doing this for love of the form. It's got a bit of soul influence. It also features the line "We need to take it back in time / When music made us all unite," which kinda causes the needle on the record player in my head to skip a beat or two.
I don't like using the term "try-hard" -- it makes me think of people like this -- but it sorta fits in this case. Jessie's attempt at authenticity and nostalgia isn't as seamless as another Brit singer whose name starts with A.
Fortunately, B.o.B. is here to lend a helping hand. Great as he sounds, though, he seems rather tacked-on to this track. It's like his inclusion was specifically about the "cha-ching, cha-ching," as the chorus says.
Speaking of the chorus: It sounds a bit like the one in P!nk's last single "Fuckin' Perfect."
The good news: Jessie seems to be in the ad-lib stage of her career. She's taking a few themes and seeing where they take her musically.
I just don't think Jessie has really found her niche yet. Here's hoping she doesn't window shop like this for a good chunk of her career. Otherwise, that return line is gonna be a bitch in, like, 90 days or so.