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.
Updated: October 27, 2014 04:00 AM