Genre: Poppy R&B
Now here’s a brave one. Jessica Ellen Cornish at Benicàssim? Hmm, all credit to the organisers for trying to offer a little bit of everything to their festival goers, but is Jessie J really what the fans want to see? Maybe we’re wrong, but how many of her fans have got both the pocket money and the parental permission to be able to get to Benicàssim and still make it home in time to do their homework before supper?
Jessie is one of the many graduates from the BRIT School, a sort of Fame turned real, where her classmates included Adele and Leona Lewis. There’s no doubt the place produces talent, but there’s also that feeling that each graduate has to manufacture some kind of back story, because ultimately they’re all from the privileged few that attended the same stage school. In Jessie’s case we get the Essex girl with attitude, the typical obnoxious ‘teenage rebel’, who seems to think she knows and says much more than the many far greater names that have graced the industry before her. For some, she was the freshest face in British music in 2011, for others she was just an annoying little madam.
Her first single, Do It Like a Dude, was an instant smash. I didn’t quite see the attraction,, but the follow-up Price Tag was one of the most addictive pieces of pop of 2011, That was the song that goes ‘it’s not about the money, money, money’, which some felt was the perfect response to the financial clump in Europe. Who cares about money anyway? With unemployment reaching unprecedented levels, and millions of people’s hard earned assets now practically worthless, Jessie wonders why everybody is so obsessed and doesn’t just dance to her song instead.
Every time Jessie appears in the press, she goes on about how she’s gonna like tell us straight what’s going on in the world, but unfortunately she hasn’t really got much of a clue. But neither have the kind of people who buy her music, and her music may lack real depth, but is just the thing to see young girls through the last few years of their lives when they still believe they are going to able to change the world.
Nobody’s Perfect was all about how Jessie opens her mouth without thinking, Who’s Laughing Now was about bullying and then Who You Are, yet another Top20 hit in the UK, had quite a poignant message about not giving up (I think). It looked she was just scraping singles off her debut album to squeeze out a bit of extra mileage when Domino was released. It’s not even a particularly good song, but it gave her another UK number one and her biggest hit yet in the USA.
They’re saying she’s Britain’s answer to Katy Perry. She does indeed have a damn fine R+B/soul voice, but perhaps there’s still some depth missing in Jessie J and her ‘girl power’ material. Time will tell whether she’ll go on to become a major star or whether in ten year’s time her songs will be appearing in pub quizzes and people will be scratching their heads thinking trying to remember what the hell her name was. I’m inclined to think it’ll be the latter.
Did you know: Jessie J might be bald by the time of Beincàssim, for she has announced her plan to shave her head for charity this year. “It’s hair, It will grow back. Even if it takes two years, if it saves lives it’s worth it. Even if it’s one life that’s something.”
1. Who’s Laughing Now
3. Stand Up / One Love
4. Casualty of Love
5. Nobody’s Perfect
6. Never Too Much
8. In Love With Technology
10. Who You Are
11. Mamma Knows Best
Encore: 12. Do It Like a Dude
13. Price Tag