If one hears bad music, it is one’s duty to drown it by one’s conversation.
The second album by Miami native Jason Derülo features 12 tracks of derivative trite that I probably shouldn’t have even tried in the first place, but, for the sake of fair play and journalism, I took a listen on Spotify.
How this kid got to be so popular is a mystery to me. His songs are essentially the same R&B moans and beats that have been rushing to the DJ stands since someone decided that “R&B” no longer had to mean “Rhythm and Blues.” He sounds like R. Kelly, dresses like Prince, and looks like the bastard love child of Wayne Brady and P. Diddy (no offense to Wayne Brady for he’s a man with more talent than I could ever hope to describe). One thing I did notice was that several of his songs (the contractually-obligatory “break up” songs) were more about codependency and a lack of closure than good “break up” songs about acknowledging your hurt, picking yourself up, moving on, and maybe getting revenge on that cheating bitch that broke your heart in the first place.
Largely, it seems that Derülo’s tracks suffer from overproduction with too many unnecessary ad-libs, lyrical interludes, or other distractions. Case in point is “Breathing,” which would actually be a good dance track if it weren’t for the unnecessary, annoying “AYYIYIYIYIYIYO!!!!!!” during the breakdown section. There is also the (again, I’m sure, contractually) obligatory “I’m going to sing about us having sex” track that makes Derülo sound like he was competing with R. Kelly for the “freakiest sex lyrics” prize including an entire verse about “watersports” and a hook that sounds like “grabin’ and bitin’ all up on my boner.”
I did manage to find one track that I enjoyed: “Fight For You” is a nod to another song that I have loved for years, Toto’s “Africa.” It has a great interpretation of the music and chorus vocals that’s mixed with a driving beat and uplifting lyrics. I did consider this the “least insipid” track on the album, but I think it has to do with the fact that somewhere it is written that artists are not allowed to do terrible covers of that song.
Bottom-line: The final track, “Dumb” can effectively sum up the album; besides the chorus singing “I’m so dumb,” the song doesn’t actually pick up until thirty seconds from the end, leaving too little too late. There’s potential with this guy, but he’s not there yet.