Scarlet’s Adventures In Channel Surfing: Jessie J

23 Mar

So the debut album by perma-hyped popstrel Jessie J, Who You Are, was released recently. My current slightly incapacitated state has meant that I have spent a lot of time browsing around TV channels when I’ve had nothing better to do – that meant a lot of seeing channels like The Box, 4Music and, yes, even SmashHits. So this means I saw (on VIVA, mostly), a lot of this:

… And this:

… And a bucketload of this:

(Probably more to come on those as time goes on and I’m more frequently exposed to them) But most of all, I racked up a massive play total for Jessie J’s ‘Price Tag’:

Which begged the question, aside from somehow featuring B.O.B. who did that song with Hayley Williams from Paramore (you know, this one), what’s the big deal with this song? I mean ‘Everybody looks to the left/ Everybody looks to the right’? What does that mean? What relevance does that have to the song’s message (which is pretty basic and might as well have been branded on Jessie’s increasingly irritating face)? As a result of this bonbardment I decided to do some research – admitedly due to a great amount of boredom from not being able to get off the sofa, but research none the less. It turns out that Jessie supposedly owns a rather large amount of vocal ability, or so the critics say. Personally, I don’t see it.

There’s a reason why I don’t see this: if ‘Price Tag’ and ‘Do It Like A Dude’ are meant to showcase this auto-tuned vocal talent then what hope do we really have for someone who honestly can sing? Now, Jessie’s voice isn’t offensive and I don’t recoil in horror every time I hear her singing (I am if anything more offended by the semi-posturing in the ‘Price Tag’ video) but she isn’t anything attention-grabbing or special. Then again that’s what sells records these days, right? Right?

Well I’m not having it. I won’t stand by and let critics say that she can do “vocal acrobatics” when I own albums by people who can run rings around her faster than a champion speedway driver. I mostly feel sorry for quirky French chanteuse Camille, whose last album Music Hole was acclaimed in some circles but pretty much universally ignored by the majority of music-buyers (so pretty much like any other decent artist out there). A lot of people don’t even know who she is, which is a bit depressing. Anyway, the “vocal acrobatics” of Camille are far greater and more accomplished than that of Miss J, as Exhibit A should prove:

But still the reign of Jessie will go on, and no doubt her nex single will contain… no more invention than this one. I salute you, BRIT Awards, I saulte you Music Channels of the World: you’re making a star of blandness.

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One Response to “Scarlet’s Adventures In Channel Surfing: Jessie J”

  1. Pie April 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    That Camille song is brilliant and the video is fantastic. It’s depressing as hell to know that the music being pushed the hardest, and therefore the most popular, is the blandest of the bland. What hope for our future listeners? When I was a young ‘un, from around the age of 9 onwards, I was listening to music like Sparks’ ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’ and ‘Get In The Swing.’ To say they are challenging is an understatement. Quirky vocals, sarky and satirical lyrics and proper musicians to put beef in their sounds. There was nothing better.

    Thank you for doing your bit to flag up interesting music. It’s filling up my playlist on Spotify nicely (well, the ones you can get on Spotify). I hope you’ve fully recovered now.

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