On her debut Who You Are, newcomer Jessie J lets her talent run wild. The British songstress, who got her first big break penning Miley Cyrus’ No. 1 hit “Party in the U.S.A.,” mixes glossy pop with rock-tinged anthems, showcasing her incredible vocals as well as both her attitude and soft side. Before the album arrives in the U.K. on February 28 and stateside on April 12, Rap-Up.com is sharing five must-hear songs from the spunky offering.
“Big White Room”
By far the most personal track on the album, “Big White Room” is also the first song that Jessie had ever written. Instead of heading back into the studio to revamp the tune, she includes a live version on the LP, showcasing her raw singing abilities as she overpowers an acoustic guitar that keeps the rhythm.
Featuring a tinkering beat and thudding electro drums, this record promotes a positive message that no matter where you’re from or who you are, we all have humanity in common. “We’re the colors of the rainbow/ We’ll share my pot of gold/ We’re the colors of the rainbow/ The party’s on the yellow brick road/ There’s enough for you, there’s enough for me,” she wails on the powerful chorus, riding out the end with her buttery vocal trails.
“Who’s Laughing Now”
Jessie gets revenge on bullies who put her down as a kid, recalling how she was bossed around and made fun of as a young girl growing up in Essex. “No need to call me names/ They wouldn’t let me play/ I run home and cry almost every day,” she remembers as a bopping percussion pushes the track along. “But who’s laughing now?” she teases on the chorus.
“Mamma Knows Best”
Jessie throws it back to the classics on “Mamma Knows Best,” inspired by show tunes and big band jazz from the 1920s. Playing off of the cool blue horn section, she belts it out before the slinky rhythm kicks in and the sassy jam heats up. On the chorus, she flips between open-throated wails and feisty spoken words, bigging up her parents for keeping her grounded and not letting the success get to her head.
“I Need This”
Who You Are hits a sensitive stride in the 11th hour with the epic “I Need This,” where Jessie wakes up and realizes she needs to move on from those keeping her down. Introduced by a soft piano melody that builds with the addition of rhythmic guitars, the introspective song sees her turning the focus inward. “No this isn’t me/ Go, please let me breathe/ I’ll be back sooner than you know/ I need this space,” she sings. The song was originally written for Chris Brown and included on the deluxe edition of Graffiti.