Release Date: Sep 24, 2013
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Contemporary R&B
Last year, Jason Derulo fractured his neck, an event that inspired this album's title ("Life-altering experiences are like tattoos stuck to you for life," he explains), but has otherwise had little effect on his musical worldview. As on his two previous records, the R&B crooner hasn't quite figured out what to do about his innate romanticism: Tattoos is a battle between the lover in him and the priapic Lothario. Spoiler alert: the lover prevails.
The secret to crossover success seems to be that pivotal song that gets people talking. For Jason Derülo, an artist fitting somewhere between pop and R&B incorporating electronic, dance, and hip-hop, that hit was “Whatcha Say”. His 2010 self-titled album also spawned several more hits, seemingly setting up the singer for future success. Unfortunately for the young pop star, his 2011 effort Future History fell ‘flat as a pancake’ commercially.
In early 2011, during a rehearsal for his Future History World Tour, Jason Derulo broke his neck. His lengthy recovery process allowed him to refocus with a new perspective -- one that provoked him to title his third album Tattoos as a metaphor for the permanent effect of certain life experiences. Tattoos isn't necessarily more serious than Jason Derulo and Future History, but it is a little heavier on songs regarding monogamy.
How to be really, really hip in music journalism, lesson #1: when reviewing shit records the party line is thus – low culture reveals as much about the times we live in as high art. For example, were the music fan looking for an insight into the collective psychology of generation Facebook, the right-on journo might tell you that Farrah Abraham’s My Teenage Dream Ended – an apocalyptically heinous, reaper’s lullaby of a record, is more illuminating of the zeitgeist than, say, the work of Hype Williams. There are many more examples.