Another year, another chanteuse from the UK. Will 2011 be the year of Jessie J?
Jessie J, aka Jessica Cornish, is a 22-year old singer-songwriter. With credits that include co-writing Miley Cyrus’ infectious hit “Party in the USA,” she seems set to be a star in her own right.
On lead single “Do It Like A Dude,” Jessie J is a little bit Pink, a little bit Nicki as she belts out the faux-feminist chorus “I can do it like a brother / do it like a dude / grab my crotch / wear my hat low like you.” Beneath the affected patois and vocal processing, there is something here. Even with the pedantic lyrics, I was intrigued, especially after hearing a remix by luvstepper Jakwob and seeing the video’s grimey clip.
Her next single is “Price Tag,” featuring hip-pop artist B.o.B. The tune couldn’t be anymore different from “Do It Like a Dude,” forgoing edgy for bubbly. It owes much to Natasha Beddingfield and Lily Allen, and B.o.B. adds his usual: an unoffensive, standard issue 16 bars.
After the success of the two singles, plus reaching the top spot on the BBC’s Sound of 2011 poll, Jessie’s debut Who Are You has been pushed up a month, dropping on February 28.
Unfortunately, based on early glimpses of the record, Jessie J seems to be moving towards the easy accessibility of “Price Tag” versus the more confrontational pop of “Dude.” The title track is a ballad that showcases her vocal talents, and “L.O.V.E.” is a light-hearted romp. “Nobody’s Perfect” is the best of the bunch, even if it comes off like a Rihanna B-side. Still, I’ll reserve judgement until the record is released. The girl’s vocal talents can’t be questioned; the song-writing might be.