Saturday, December 16, 2006

Everything's within my reach, but everything seems like it's nothing

It's been months since I first said I would write about Jesse McCartney's new album, Right Where You Want Me, but I still haven't really reached a final conclusion about it. There are only a couple of songs on it that I listen to anything close to regularly; however, whenever I do listen to it, I like it and wonder why I don't listen to it more. It's definitely no masterpiece, and I'm convinced "Tell Her" is a ripoff (maybe not musically, but in subject and lyrics) of BBMak's "Next Time," and I miss the cuteness that some of his first album songs had, but it has some good, more on the pop-rock side than before songs. I'm not sure about singles, though; there doesn't seem to be an abudance of options, which may be one of the reasons the album is struggling (or at least I perceive it to be struggling; I don't actually know sales figures for it; at the least, I feel like I heard "Beautiful Soul" a lot more on the radio than I heard "Right Where You Want Me"). The two best songs on the album will probably never be singles, and I'm not sure that they would work as singles even if they were made to be.

Daddy's Little Girl--from my perspective, this is the most fun song on the regular album. The whole "I have to be credible" vibe is less noticeable, though the subject matter is a big change from Jesse's first album; with innuendo and lines like "you just turned 18 a week ago/and you want to learn what you don't know," this song is designed to prove that "daddy's little girl is now my baby." It's more danceable than most of the other songs on the album, and really, as I said, pretty fun. The one part I'd criticize is the middle (I'm not sure if it's the middle 8, but it's the falling surf guitar riff with talk about "shaking").

Running Away--a Best Buy bonus track, but I can't understand why it didn't make the album; yes, it's got a distinctly different style from the rest of it, but I think its presence would have vastly improved my overall opinion of the album. It has so much more energy than this album's lead single, and there's something about this track that feels a bit more orchestral than the other songs; it's not a rock-out or funky song at all--in fact, I'd say it's pretty, lifting. Jesse's words in the chorus come in crashes, in waves, and are perfectly punctuated and backed up by the percussion and the rest of the instruments. This isn't "running away" as in some picturesque frolicking in fields, but a swirling, rushing escape--if only this song wasn't the only such escape on the album...

To buy Jesse McCartney's second studio album, Right Where You Want Me, go here (physical) or here (digital); I do recommend it.

By the way, Split Chick has just recently updated her excellent blog Tip Top Pop and is back in business again!

Next up: there are other songs from this album that I'd like to write about some day, but for now, maybe an American singer.

(Random note: as I was typing this up, a commercial for My Super Sweet 16 came on, and do you know whose music was being used to advertise it? Mika! The song was "Love Today." I can't believe it! And literally a few minutes earlier I had been telling people about how he was probably going to be big in the UK next year! Weird! But exciting, even though it probably doesn't mean anything in terms of him making it here.)


J'ason D'luv said...

It's disheartening when an anticipated follow-up from a fave artist doesn't live up to your expectations. Jesse's so young, though, he should be able to pull a great album out of his sleeve yet... well, that is, if he doesn't get dropped by the label, evicted from his home, and have to start turning tricks with old men in parked cars late at night in some dreary, desolate junkyard in the suburbs.

Anyway, Happy Holidays!

Paul said...

hey its how i got my start ;) Anyhoo, i concur with votre opinions on Jesse's cd...i feel like he was trying too hard to be the male Kelly Clarkson and it doesn't quite work. I do love Daddy's Little Girl though and hope he gets to do a third album... how cool re: Mika. I was convincing DazPants that Grace Kelly was to be the next big chart smash probably at the very same moment. How serendipitous :)

Digital Technique said...

I know what you mean about the album - I've had it for a couple of months now and have only listened to it a couple of times since! It just hasnt grabbed my attention the way that many of the songs on Beautiful Soul did. Daddy's Little Girl is a great song and for some strange reason I like Invincible!! Hadn't heard Running Away before but have put it straight on my iPod - should definitely have been included on the album, possibly as the second single!! Thanks for introducing me to yet another great song!

Poster Girl said...

I hope so (although the second possibility would guarantee me some interesting trashy E! True Story or whatever it's called). He's yet to make a good album, and this album isn't even doing that well, but he's still got a decent profile (for reasons I don't understand), so maybe he'll stick around. It would be really strange if Jesse McCartney ended up having the most resiliency and "growing up" into a real artist, but I'd like to see him do well. I'm not sure why...I have my doubts about what he's like personally...I think maybe I just want a male popstar to be popular in the U.S. (Justin Timberlake's album just did nothing for me, though "SexyBack" grew on me eventually).

Paul, the desire to be the "male Kelly Clarkson" is bringing down so many people I have/had hope for! I like Kelly's music, but I'm worried about her effect on other artists--good sometimes, but not in others (and I know it's not just her causing it, but she really consolidated the trend and made it huge).

I completely agree--there were a good number of songs on Beautiful Soul I liked (though I still felt there were a few too many not-so-good tracks on it), and "Running Away" as a bonus track baffles me. And you're welcome--but it's only fair, given the amazing number of artists you've introduced me to!