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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Sweet Talker may be more consistent than Jessie J's earlier output but it’s certainly less charming.
Cover of Jessie J's Sweet Talker. Courtesy Universal Music MENA
Cover of Jessie J's Sweet Talker. Courtesy Universal Music MENA

Jessie J

Sweet Talker

(Lava/Republic)

Three stars

Jessie J really wants to break into the United States market. After last year’s Alive failed to secure a stateside release, the precocious vocal talent moved to Los Angeles, enlisted a team of major pop songwriters and got an A-list cast of American music stars to guest. Those collaborations are the highs of this third outing. Bang Bang features a typically inimitable turn from the rapper Nicki Minaj. Not to be outdone, Jessie weighs in with her own fiery vocal pyrotechnics on Burnin’ Up, starring a less memorable guest rap from 2 Chainz. Most surprising is Seal Me With a Kiss, where Jessie teams up with the veteran hip-hoppers (and recent Sandance guests) De La Soul over a smouldering retro groove. With the rest of the album given over to R&B-tinged pop and forgettable balladry, it’s hard to agree with the album’s opening refrain: “I’m gonna do it like it ain’t been done.” Sweet Talker is more consistent than her prior output but it’s also less charming. Apt for US radio, then – mission accomplished, Jessie.

rgarratt@thenational.ae

Updated: October 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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