Single Review: Jessie J – ‘Domino’

“It has effectively drained what little soul she had and any residual claim to it with a big fat wage-slip rewarding her newfound commercialism”


Digital Release: January 1, 2012

Physical Release: February 19, 2012

When Jessie J first strutted onto the scene with her studded lips and androgynous crotch-grabbing, no-one would’ve dared predict that someone with such an opinion-splitting agenda to would be the savour of pop in 2011. So, somewhat thankfully, nobody did (if you disregard the BRIT Award for “Critic’s Choice”, which was just about the only formidable entity to ever suggest such lofty accolades awaited her). She was the glorified epitome and brutal assailant of an insatiable desire to make everyone feel fantastic about themselves; a contradiction of effect as she crusaded with horrifically misplaced certainty that everyone had incurable flaws that urgently needed rectifying with her music, or at least soothing. But it’s all for nothing because, even if you invest the smallest amount of thought, you’ll see that verbal encouragement is not something easy achieved when said encouragement is willing to literally shout your darkest insecurities away with the might of her lungs. Often times, Jessie J’s efforts to feel everyone’s pain were a little rose-tinted, as were her successes. She resorted to shrieking in an anguished, strained voice that reluctantly scraped to the same heights her ambitions reside, leaving a slightly hollow feeling of empathy to her songs, as if none such emotion ever existed at all. It’s all pleasant enough if we can write lyrics – however trite – that connect with people, but Jessie J’s delivery of them frequently echoed with an unmistakable self-indulgence.

And such was her personality and stamp on the British market. It was futile to protest much about it, as many had already found sanctuary upon her iron pillows and tissue-paper blankets. However, with the release of ‘Domino’, the second US release and God-knows-what-for release over here in the UK, she appears to have clambered out of the niche she inconsequentially fought so hard to find her way into and enlisting the help (or hindrance) of Dr. Luke along the way. ‘Domino’ is an effervescent pop stomper with all the ingredients a good pop song should have. However, cheery as it sounds, it sounds like Dr. Luke literally pelts her with ideas – randomised, repetitive ideas that recall his work with Katy Perry and Ke$ha a little too closely for comfort – but Jessie J, whilst wearing her most convincingly confident façade to date, either fails to do these tools justice, or more likely, Dr. Luke fails to deliver much that we hadn’t already seen before. The result is that Jessie J, who convinced us incessantly that she’s naturally very hesitant with giving her trust to others on ‘Nobody’s Perfect’, has placed her trust in the wrong hands. And in doing so she compromises her individuality in exchange for generic, conveyor-belt pop that’ll certainly see her rub shoulders with all the ‘right’ people in the future but, as well as setting her expiry date on a scale of possibly one more album, it has effectively drained what little soul she had and any residual claim to it with a big fat wage-slip rewarding her newfound commercialism. But to say that’s an entirely bad thing would be a lie. Quite the contrary: perhaps whilst she’s wandering out and about in the MOR wilderness admiring the view of money she’ll learn that the real joy and empathy in pop music is only truly realised when, on the increasingly infrequent occasion these days, it looks like nobody’s trying all that hard.


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  1. Gerard McGarry

    I remember We Are Pop Slags confused,y asking “who’s buying her records?” The truth is, I have no idea. Somewhere along the line, folks have mistaken her bizarre leotards and raven-coloured bob cut as edgy and artistic. It’s not.

    The quality of Jessie’s releases is definitely plummeting and the blatant commerciality of the single totally goes against her assertions in Price Tag that it’s not about the money. It’s certainly not about the quality either, so I’m baffled as to what’s the point.

    Loving your review of her singles though: they’re more despairing and scathing with each new release!

  2. Billy J Wells

    Look Peoples let’s get this right…..every artist no matter who will take the money and let go of their principles if that’s what it takes to swell their bank balances….but who says Jessie is anything other than a fame hungry artiste. You might have heard her or her people spout all sorts but who’s saying its anymore real than the spin typical of so many in the public eye??? Whats wrong with what she is doing…. yeah its weak and seemingly getting weaker but thats the world of pop commercialism. Is she wrong? Frankly I don’t care…… Is she really hurting you and I ….NO!

    Now you wanna have a go how about the idiots who give the likes of Jedwood the time of day let alone air time…… come on now at least the womans got a voice!!!!

    Let it go……you’ll see plenty more come and go!!

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Oh, believe me, I’ve levelled my blogging guns at Jedward on more than one occassion. I’m still trying to find a silver bullet that’ll work on them permanently though…

      Jessie’s alright, I don’t particularly despise her, but I find it funny that the girl who seemed so edgy on Do It Like A Dude and so anti-establishment on Price Tag should have so quickly went down the route of bland commercialism.

  3. Billy J Wells

    I hear you but its the way so many “edgy” artists go when they see the £ sign and as much as it is disappointing to us fans it’s been done so often I guess I just can’t get worked up about it. Take Queen I remember hearing some of their precommercial stuff, it was great and heard them spout that they didn’t want to be a commercial sell out band…..but thay went commercial anyway!! Now I’m sure you would argue that Queen were anything but weak when they hit the charts and I would whole heartedly agree because the world may have been denied the music they produced but they did sell out with some of there hits….ie “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and I’m sorry but I think that was a throw away song that made them a fair penny… 

    I htink you have to just take it on the chin… stop buying the records (My first Album I bought was  A Day At The Races by Queen after my initial anger at Queen going Commercial)

    One more thing ….if I like a tune I buy it whoever its from…..if it makes me feel good I want to listen to it……… I guess because I’m a bit long in the tooth now I don’t worry what others think of my music choice because its what I like. If Jedwood were ever to bring out something that rang my bell (hell will likely freeze over before that happened) I would in all honesty buy it……….but I think that would be something I wouldn’t want to shout about…..!!!

  4. Billy J Wells

    Good luck with that silver bullet for the Jedwood……I’ll keep an eye out for one too and if I find it I’ll be first to shout out………Seriously they need exterminating

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