29 Mar 11
“Okay, coconut man, moonheads…”, and to think I turned Fugazi off for this? Believe it or not, Jessie J beat James Blake in the BBC’s increasingly out-of-touch ‘Sound of…’ poll this year. She also graduated from Satan’s very own breeding pool, commonly (though not always) known as the BRIT school. Whereas other alumni (Jamie Woon, Kate Nash and Adele) have gone on to forge their own careers, producing enjoyable and forward thinking (even if only in their references to the past) pop records, Jessie J excelled at one class only in fleeting days atthe BRIT academy – Sucking Satan’s Cock 101.
My internet connection falters and Spotify crashes (what? You thought I’d buy this?), forcing me back into Fugazi, although I can’t exactly complain. I think of Ian MacKaye, and the do-it-yourself culture the man inspired; Jessica Cornish (J’s contrastingly folky real name) sits on the exact opposite end of the spectrum. Hailing from a background of song writing for established artists (most famously ‘Party In The USA’ by Miley Cyrus, a song which proved harder to masturbate to than her leaked tit photos), Cornish then has already assisted in The Man’s never-ending quest to block out our mortal woes with blander-than-beige chart poppery. Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that her album is much the same.
The album starts with ‘Price Tag’, a song no doubt familiar to anybody who has listened to the radio as of late. It is undeniably catchy, and Cornish’s vocals are at least clear, although at times ruined by what seems to be a cheap emulation of Rihanna’s accented vocal phrasing. Oh, have I mentioned that Rihanna’s ‘Loud’ was one of my favourite records last year? Because it totally was. Anyway, Cornish seems stuck between trying to sound like she’s black and trying to push her British accent upfront, leaving her vocals a confused and often irritating mess of intonation, phrasing and lip smacking.
Other ‘highlights’ include ‘Do It Like A Dude’, the lyrics of which manage to make me cringe, chortle and consider cerebral cortex clearance simultaneously, a feat not managed since Hotel California. She also puts that charming accent on again, as she urges us to “Do it like a mandem, mandem…” Well, sorry Jessie, but I have as much interest in ‘doing’ it like a mandem as I do in ‘doing’ it like a dude: a frightfully small amount. ‘Who’s Laughing Now’ is probably directed at me, a callout for all the haters, which is a popular subject in pop music at the moment, of course while we’re at it I suppose we should SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE H8RZ… Apparently, a lot of people dissed her music (perhaps rightfully) and now they automatically like it because she is popular and popular things are good, right? RIGHT? If you’re reading this, Jessie, please remember that no matter how popular you get, I will always hold a unique form of revulsion specifically for you. Apologies.
Jessie J sings quite loudly on ‘Mamma Knows Best’. Or at least I think she did. If I’m being honest half-way through the record I had to preoccupy myself with the PlayStation One JRPG classic ‘Vagrant Story’ to make the whole “reviewing experience” bearable. Though I fear wasting any more words on this trash could cause a mild mental breakdown, thankfully I can sum it up in a handy, easy to carry nutshell. This is generic, record exec-sucking vacuum pop; but with a twist, and that twist is as follows – it is badly done. She has passion, sure, but the passion sounds like it’s not being used. I have a Black Flag tattoo, why am I even listening to this?