“A sigh of relief from others is the tune that accompanies the welcoming thought of Jessie J no longer actively patronising people in the real world”
Digital Release: May 4, 2012
Physical Release: May 13, 2012
It would not be grossly reductionist or unjustifiably offensive to suggest that, as well as being a fruitlessly “eclectic” mix of directionless commercialism, Jessie J’s song topics are something akin to having bi-polar disorder. Rarely treading the intervening mile-stretches of (for her) unchartered territory where most normal people operate, her songs instead lead her to soar skywards, out of sight with the goal of being – or quite often trying to be – the loudest thing in the room, as if to drown out some trivialised adversary. These would be her manic episodes and would consist of ‘Do It Like A Dude’, ‘Who’s Laughing Now?’ and ‘LaserLight’, for example. The depressed episodes see her plummet so far away from her pantomimic aplomb that the only thing connecting the two personas is the blinding inertia of unquestioning self-confidence, depicted through the voice of someone who clearly has forgotten, or at least does not yet comprehend, that disposable pop pap spinning wildly about itself in the world of Jessie J has no resonance and/or power to adjust a starkly unforgiving reality of playground bullies and what life is actually like. It’s hard to empathise with Jessie J as her only song yet to have come close to an accurate depiction of school bullies (‘Who’s Laughing Now?’) helplessly crippled under it’s own weight as a mocking caricature of playground life.
It’s a nice thought though, but at the end of the day the tired out saying that “thought counts” simply doesn’t count anymore. And instead of scars being licked clean and poison being sucked out of still-open wounds, listening to Jessie J play Agony Aunt is like using a soldering iron for cold-compress and sandpaper for plasters.
And so, whilst many of the fans magnetised towards her efforts to feel everyone’s pain can be disgruntled at the thought of her nestling further in the commercial back-pockets of Dr. Luke and David Guetta (who now recycles his latest sound of muted electric guitars on ‘LaserLight’), a sigh of relief from others is the tune that accompanies the welcoming thought of Jessie J no longer actively patronising people in the real world. Some may argue it’s merely the plight of another rising popstar who saw stars too soon that led Jessie J to record a song like ‘LaserLight’, and even though there’s still plenty of hints that the song is the work of Jessie J, there’s only so much harm she can do once she finds herself relegated to just another purveyor of conventional, digestible pop music Of The Now. As of Now, the only threat she poses is that she still misguidedly believes that stressing each syllable with as much gusto as is humanly possible can be passed off as genuine soul. And in realising this, she, on the eve of ‘LaserLight’, also joins the ranks of many popstars who, in a bid to make themselves more alluring and entertaining to their fans (and, as a by-product even less palatable to their detractors) tries to pretend there’s something more to the music they’re peddling than there actually is by filling great voids of nothing with distracting tangents that divert listeners away from realising the stark lack of anything other than commercially-orientated opportunity in their music.
There’s a glimmer of hope though, in the fact that Jessie J’s apparent bi-polar hasn’t lead to the development of an alter-ego yet. It happens to the best of us; Marina Diamandis is getting the help she needs.