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Sweet Talker [Deluxe Edition] *
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  • Recording information: Angel Studios, London, UK; Big Noise Productions, Los Angeles, CA; Black Kiss Studios, Warsaw, Poland; Cake Studios, London, UK; Contra Recordings, CA; Conway Studios, Hollywood, CA; Conway Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Cryptic Studios, Venice, CA; Dfrns Studio, Alphen Aan Den Rijn, The Netherlands; Germano Studios, New York, NY; Glenwood Studios, Burbank, CA; London Police Station; Metropolis Studios, London, UK; Quad Studios, New York, NY; Rokstone Studios, London, UK; Sarm Studios, London; Studio PT, Las Vegas, NV; The Garage, Long Beach, CA; The Mothership, Los Angeles, CA; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA; Westlake Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Photographer: George Holz.
  • Though Jessie J's 2013 album Alive had several singles enter the U.K. Top 40, it did little in the U.S. J followed the ballad-heavy set with Sweet Talker, a collection of songs tailored to regain her footing as a pop star in the States. At the very least, this album is a lot more energetic: filled with cameos by American artists as well as collaborations with A-list producers, Sweet Talker is the opposite of what came before it. Sometimes the too-much-is-never-enough approach actually works: "Bang Bang," the Max Martin-produced hit single that presented J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj as a saucy girl group for the 2010s, goes so over the top with pop fizz that it demands listeners' attention. While it's arguable that Minaj's mile-a-minute rapping and 2014's pop It Girl Grande steal the show from Jessie, "Bang Bang" did get her back on the charts and on people's minds in the U.S. The rest of Sweet Talker finds J trying as many sounds and styles as possible. The album's second single, "Burnin' Up," nods to rap via a cameo by 2 Chainz and to EDM with strobing synths; elsewhere, she returns to P!nk-esque pop on "Masterpiece" and "Said Too Much," a decent riff on "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" and the brash attitude of her debut on "Ain't Been Done." Elsewhere, "Seal Me with a Kiss," which features De La Soul, channels "Bang Bang"'s sense of fun into playful retro-soul with hip-hop flair, while "Keep Us Together" opts for a more mature R&B pop sound. ~ Heather Phares
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly - "[T]he ready-made singles kill: In addition to 'Bang Bang,' there's the double-time 2 Chainz collab 'Burnin' Up,' the triumphant opener 'Ain't Been Done,' and the inevitable girl-power anthem 'Masterpiece.'"
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