Who You Are

Album Review of Who You Are by Jessie J.

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Who You Are

Jessie J

Who You Are by Jessie J

Release Date: Apr 12, 2011
Record label: Universal Republic
Genre(s): Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Pop/Rock

61 Music Critic Score
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Who You Are - Fairly Good, Based on 13 Critics

Rolling Stone - 100
Based on rating 5/5
100

This 23-year-old Londoner is being hailed as "the U.K.'s answer to Lady Gaga," which might say more about the U.K.'s desire to answer to Lady Gaga than it does about Jessica Ellen Cornish. She's got a brash, broad voice and a be-yourself message. But Jessie is less show-stealing diva than impersonal pop technician (she co-wrote Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA").

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Drowned In Sound - 100
Based on rating 10/10
100

'Pop' is in a funny place. Somewhat bizarrely, it ain’t the dominant force it once was. Chart-bothering fads come and go, without so much as producing a single ear worm. Novelty hits pass by without offending anyone. In fact, with the music world so fractured, pop’s pervasive place at the top ….

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Entertainment Weekly - 72
Based on rating B
72

Here’s a prediction: In the not-too-distant future, Jessie J is going to release a brilliant pop single. The 23-year-old Brit (who recently had her Stateside coming-out party courtesy of a gig on SNL) has all the tools, from a monster voice to an ear for hooks — she co-wrote Miley Cyrus’ ”Party in the U.S.A.” — and a manic persona that’s equal parts Katy Perry, Kristin Chenoweth, and Alice Cooper. But now here’s a fact: That song isn’t on her debut album.

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AllMusic - 60
Based on rating 6/10
60

Described by Justin Timberlake as "the best singer in the world right now," and a recent recipient of both the Brits Critics Choice Award, and the BBC Sound of 2011, 22-year-old Jessie J has received the kind of hype that could suffocate the careers of lesser fledgling artists before they've even begun. However, backed-up by a thriving songwriting sideline (she penned Miley Cyrus' number two Billboard smash "Party in the USA") and some solid performing credentials (she appeared in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Whistle Down the Wind as a teen), her debut album, Who You Are, reveals she's more than capable of coping with the pressure. Blessed with an astonishing voice which can effortlessly shift from emotive, tender restraint to hurricane-force powerhouse in the space of three minutes, the album's 13 tracks are a vocal tour de force, which for the most part, wisely avoid the over-elaborate gymnastics of the likes of Carey and Aguilera.

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The Guardian - 60
Based on rating 3/5
60

Much is riding on Who You Are, released a month early to capitalise on the top 2 success of Jessie J's first two singles. But if any singer has the potential to be the British Katy Perry or Pink, with the accompanying millions of sales, it's her: this album brims with infectious, Americanised songs, delivered with a confidence money can't buy. It's very much a record of two halves, though, and the swaggering uptempo tracks – the ubiquitous Do it Like a Dude and Price Tag, along with the big-band-styled Mamma Knows Best and a crunchy piece of minimalism called LOVE – are vastly superior to the ballads.

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Slant Magazine - 50
Based on rating 2.5/5
50

Maybe it’s just a “Born This Way” sort of spring, with self-fulfillment and self-actualization both being achieved from external, fortissimo sources. Lest I sound skeptical of anyone “arriving” at themselves via mass entertainment, Lady Gaga’s pride-festival anthem ultimately earns its gravitas through knowing cultural appropriation, sheer momentum, mutual love between the star and her audience, and an unapologetic deployment of the things that go all full-intention on the dance floor, a strategy that intentionally leaves out the people the song’s not addressing anyway. The single’s luxurious rinse is a gift unto itself, and washes away all traces of presumptuousness lurking throughout Gaga’s lyrics.

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New Musical Express (NME) - 50
Based on rating 2.5/5
50

[b]‘Do It Like A Dude’[/b] posited [a]Jessie J[/a] as a rival to the international hard-hitters – a new [a]Lady Gaga[/a], an equally fearless [a]Rihanna[/a]. With over a million YouTube views, and selling over 30,000 copies, it was a brash, bolshy entrance. Follow-up single [b]‘Price Tag’[/b] nabbed her a UK Number One. So, stomp, stomp she’s arrived.

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No Ripcord - 50
Based on rating 5/10
50

If you are a UK pop fan who has not heard of Jessie J, the rising star who hails from Redbridge in London, then you’ve probably been hiding under a rock. Jessie’s profile is currently riding high in the UK after she was given the Critics’ Choice award at the 2011 Brit Awards. The award was created to champion new British talent, and (strangely enough) it’s been given to former students of the Brit School twice in its 4 year history.

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PopMatters - 40
Based on rating 4/10
40

All the way back in January, Jessie J came out on the top of the pop pile in the BBC’s Sound of 2011 poll. In doing so, she trumped artists like James Blake (who came second), Jamie Woon (who came fourth), and Warpaint (who didn’t manage to make the illustrious top five). Now, everybody in the world realises that this list is a commercially-motivated excuse for Britain’s music critics and industry figures to whip their know-it-all noggins side to side.

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Pitchfork - 20
Based on rating 2.0/10
20

At least in the United States, it seems as though Jessie J has been thrust into the spotlight without any warning. There's an uncomfortable inevitability about her sudden stardom, as though superproducer Dr. Luke and the people at Universal Music Group decreed that she would be huge whether we wanted her or not. So far she's done okay-- her single "Price Tag" is performing well at pop radio and digital retail-- but it's hard to say whether she's going to have much traction in the U.S.

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The New York Times
Their review was unenthusiastic

The Pretty Reckless Usually it falls to the writers to get a character purged from a network television series, but Taylor Momsen, who plays the naïve manipulator Jenny Humphrey on “Gossip Girl,” appears to be taking matters into her own hands. For the last two years her other alter ego has ….

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BBC Music
Their review was unenthusiastic

With Cornish’s profile at a high and awards in the bag, Who You Are is a guaranteed hit. Mike Diver 2011 It’s all well and good having a multi-octave voice, but without control it’s an accident waiting to happen. Jessie J – born Jessica Cornish in Redbridge – rushes up and down her scales on this anticipated debut album; but there’s more than one occasion where her fluctuating pitch is a pain in the ear.

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NOW Magazine
Their review was negative

A common criticism levelled at the pop stars of today is that they leave much to be desired in the personality department. British singer Jessie J, however, is afflicted with a dire case of the opposite: too-much-personality disorder. Prior to winning the BBC's Sound Of 2011 poll, the 23-year-old was best known for penning the Miley Cyrus hit Party In The USA, a song that sounds like Penny Lane compared to this crass train wreck of a record.

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'Who You Are'

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