Single Review: Jason Derulo – ‘What If’

Cowboy builders must be the most annoying things imaginable right? You’d have to be some serious pain in the arse if you topped that, like if you played some evil prank on someone which ended up with the prank’s reciprocal having something like bird poo on their head, or maybe some form of liquid being thrown over them from a great height, whilst they were looking up, with their mouth open and wearing their best T-Shirt.

But what makes cowboy builders the biggest annoyance in like evaaa? Well, you pay them to come around and fix something you know nothing about, and when they leave with your money you think everything is perfect again. A few days or even weeks later, you realise it isn’t; you can’t get your money back; you can’t contact the cowboy builder/plumber/electrician; and you’re left none the wiser about what’s wrong with your boiler/plumbing/heating. And if that’s not enough, you’ll probably end up on a day-time TV programme on BBC3 with Dominic Wood and Melinda Messenger, where they make you ring up the cowboy and watch you cry on TV. Just peachy.

Jason Derulo is clearly a cowboy, and I don’t mean in the Brokeback Mountain way: he doesn’t seem to finish the job with some songs, but he’s clearly got a bit of know how in the R&B ballad department. Fourth release from his eponymous début, ‘What If’ shows are far more restrained side to the man, swapping his womanising, self-loving, exterior shown on ‘In My Head’ and ‘Ridin’ Solo’, for a vulnerable, crooning one which sings to us in a lovely auto-tuned voice whilst pleasuring our ears with lyrics like “Future with a dog named Ben/Buy a house with a fireplace”. Aww.

It’s all very well and good because the auto-tune is a very restrained in comparison to his over-produced début ‘Watcha Say’ and the chorus features some enjoyable vocal layering, but I’m sorry, “so, Imma say doo doo do-doo, do-doo, do-doo”, sounds like he had a great idea for the whole song, excitedly rushed to the studio and then realised he’d left the lyrics for the chorus at home and thought “Oh well, this will do” and shoved in some lyrics that would only make sense if you heard them being sung by a magic glove or something on CBeebies.

Up until that point, the song is very good, lead by a pretty piano melody and some R&B drums, Jason finds himself crooning over a relaxed production with some beautiful lyrics until the cowboy in him can’t help but ruin it with the “doo doo do-doo”s which kills the vulnerable, meaningful mood of the song.

As for the video, it’s not your average sitting in a corner or darkened room scenario, Jason’s gone all-out and fancies himself as a bit of a time-traveller. ‘Ooer!’ I here you say, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of pointless shots of Jason himself… to please… himself.

That video has the potential to be one of the best videos of the year. Unfortunately it’s way too detached and with patchy acting performances, pointless shots of Jason walking like nothing’s wrong, as well as awful timing issues, the video falls flat on it’s face.

It’ll be a popular hit, it’s already setting the charts on fire, entering the Top 15 already, and it really does have the makings of a beautiful ballad, but unfortunately it joins the ever-increasing list of forgettable songs that, in a year, no-one will ever remember nor care about.

Rating: 3.5 STARS

Download: August 9, 2010

Featured Album ‘Jason Derulo’

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