Jason Derülo’s Future History Could Use Refinement, Talent

If one hears bad music, it is one’s duty to drown it by one’s conversation.

Oscar Wilde

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.

One thought on “Jason Derülo’s Future History Could Use Refinement, Talent”

  1. Here are my actual listening notes from this review:

    1 good club theme
    nice chill beat, needs more “thump” if it wants to play in a club
    easy single
    2 good vocals, layering
    trite lyrics
    musically simple, repetitive
    3 good backbeat, instrumental
    lyrics unnecessary, annoying breakdown (AY YI YI YI YI YI YI YO)
    4 obligatory stalker chick song
    great instrumentals (minor chord progressions, strings/piano)
    will likely get ruined in remix
    5 909 handclaps, 8-bit synths appeal to retro
    used word “hella”
    oldskool vibe, needs more rappin’
    6 quote toto’s “africa” musically/lyrically
    good reinterpretation
    least insipid track so far
    good potential for remix
    7 typical downtempo r&b/hip-hop mashup
    breakup song
    seeks to get back together–needy
    hip-hop elements seem VERY out of place, would make a pretty song otherwise
    8 insipid r&b with overactive vocals
    9 same as 8
    WAY too many gasps
    10 slightly better than previous 2
    r kelly sound
    obligatory r&b “i’m going to sing about us having sex” song
    LOTS of innuendo
    into waterspouts
    did he say “grabbin’ and bitin’ all up on my boner?”
    11 back to club groove
    needs to be faster
    background track sounds like a slowed-down mega man level theme
    would be pretty epic at 200+bmp
    just realized he was singing “i am still in love with my ex”
    seems to have codependency, closure issues
    12 chorus “i’m so dumb” sums up the album
    stop whining, go back to the club, get crunk, release more jams like 1, 6 & 11
    meanwhile shut up & let the guitarist have the solo
    song doesn’t actually pick up until :30 to the end, too late to captivate

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