I originally had another review for you today, but I decided to scrap that idea and move on to this album instead. British singer Jessie J has a new album since releasing “Sweet Talker” in 2014. “R.O.S.E.” came out on the 25th of May, in basically four different sections on Spotify, each with a different theme spelling out the title of the record. The R represents Realisations, O is for Obsessions, S for Sex, and finally E means Empowerment.
Once I figured it all out, I started to get really curious because I felt as though she was going in a direction that Swedish artist Tove Lo took her debut album, Queen Of The Clouds in 2014, I don’t know if it is going to sound the same, but nobody ever creates sections and list a number of songs that represent that certain word or meaning for no reason at all. So to say I was intrigued was an understatement! I do want to say that I didn’t listen to any of the songs before starting this review, so this is a straight up first impressions discussion and I have to say I am a little more excited to hear the songs in both “Realisations” and “Empowerment” than the other two, but we’ll see at the end which part I liked the most!
So like I said, we start with the first letter R and the first song to begin the album itself is “Oh Lord” and from the moment it starts it has this sad sound brought out by emotions playing out in her beautiful deep voice and that bluesy sound. It’s a bittersweet introduction and gets you into the mood of the album as a whole. Second is “Think About That” and you instantly have this R&B vibe going on, which is sort of her genre and she has a wonderful voice for it too, so everything is kind of perfect. You definitely hear the pain and the sass in her voice, but the beat is somewhat upbeat too. It’s really good.
Next there’s “Dopamine” and I really liked this song. I really enjoyed the beat, it had a classic soulful sound, but I actually liked the lyrics to this one as you can easily understand what she’s talking about, and it’s definitely a song that everybody needs to listen to, so even though the beat makes me want to dance, I really made myself listen to the words too. The ending was kind of adorable, because you hear a little girl singing her ABC’s in the background, it kind of brightened the mood a bit. And then we move on to “Easy On Me” and I liked the idyllic sound, the jazz-y piano section at the last was so pretty but the lyrics were definitely dark, but it wasn’t bad. The only thing that popped into my mind while I listened to it was “nothing is what it seems” and I think that’s the perfect way to explain this song.
The next section is O and so we explore the songs in the Obsessions slot. Instantly the mood swifts with the fifth track “Real Deal” and the beat and lyrics are both positive and I was actually happy to hear something so fun after the first four tracks and how they sounded, despite the fact that I do enjoy hearing Jessie’s full capacity in her voice in those dark and slower songs, so it was nice! Next was “Petty” and with that kind of title, I knew this would have a sharp beat and somewhat sassy tone in her voice. So, in other words, I really liked it.
“Not My Ex” was after that, I tried to keep an open mind after I saw the title of it. Those words together can many means and I’m glad I decided to switch it because it wasn’t in the same badass-y sound like with the previous track, instead it was very lighthearted and soft. It was a different kind of love song, definitely not what people would expect at first. Lastly there’s “Four Letter Word” and it’s very love-y dovey but not in a bad way, because if you know me well enough, I’m not into love songs so sometimes I’m liable to just write it off, but I actually liked it. Very sweet!
Now we are on the letter S and that means we probably move onto sexually based songs, since it is literally titled Sex. We start with a song called “Queen” and it has that sultry flare I was expecting to hear in this section. It actually has a beauty positive kind of vibe going on with the lyrics, and that does change the expectations and how Jessie is going about these songs. So moving on to “One Night Lover” and it does have sexy tone to it, but the storytelling is what I liked about it the most. Almost every women out there has had been in the same situations so right there, it’s relatable to people and I really enjoyed that aspect of it.
“Dangerous” is the eleventh song and from the moment it started, I knew I wasn’t going to like it. For one, the beginning was very boring, nothing was there to grab my attention and even when the beat actually came on, it wasn’t enough to keep me there. We have the song “Play” next and I was really hoping for a banger with this one and that’s exactly what I got and what kind of made me feel strange was that the beat felt so old school and Jessie made her voice sound fun and playful that I became to remember my crushes in grade school, so that alone was interesting enough for me!
We are finally on the last section of songs, E is made up of songs representing the word Empowerment in some way and the first one you hear is “Glory” and it has a strong almost 80’s R&B flare, between the horn section and the way of words is actually really good! It does build you up mentally and musically, so that was nice! “Rose Challenge” is next and from the moment I saw this, I wondered if this would kind of explain each letter and word meaning, because I was really curious about why she wanted to go this route with the album. The song itself is actually a longer introduction to the next song, which I thought was good because we really hadn’t had in the last three words, it leads into “Someone’s Lady” and if I was standing up, I’d probably collapse because it just sounds so gorgeous, with just her angelic voice and piano behind her. It’s so soft but it still has this affirmative outlook lyrically, it’s really good. And finally the last song is “I Believe In Love” and it has this really sweet and classic outlook, it reminds me of my papaw in a way.
I’m really impressed with this album. As curious as I felt in the beginning, I was also a little bit nervous too because I’m not used to reviewing R&B music, even though there are some artists I listen to on a daily basis that dabble in it every once in a while, so it’s not like I don’t hear it anymore because I do, I just don’t discuss it out loud like I probably should. Now I know you’re probably curious about what part was my favorite and honestly I liked all of them! The four sections were interesting, you got to hear different stories representing something that was possibly based on what has happened to Jessie at some point in her life. It had it had both good and bad moments–lyric wise and the fact that I only disliked one song out of the whole thing is pretty impressive!
Have you listened to Jessie J’s new album “R.O.S.E” yet? If you have, what were your thoughts? Which section was your favorite and why?