When your album flops, what better way to usher in a new era than by shouting over two other well-known and popular artists?
As ever, on new single Bang Bang, Jessie J lacks any form of subtlety. She makes Sia swinging on a chandelier sound like a mute.
The powerhouse production of the track is decent (from Max Martin no less - though this is far from his best work), the minimal textures providing an infectious groove and letting the vocals take the fore. Yet it’s with the vocals that issues arise.
We all know that Jessie J has a remarkable voice. She’s got the range. She’s got the power. She’s got the quirky inflections and impressive riffs. Sometimes, though, you want some softness, some musicality, a chance to give your ears a rest. Thankfully that’s what Ariana Grande brings, but she sounds utterly lost and underused within the whole song. It seems she’s got one more problem with Jessie.
The lyrics too lack any subtlety. Bang Bang is the vocal equivalent of “Jessie, Ari [and] Nicki” slut dropping on the dancefloor in a shameless attention-grabbing routine. “I can give it to you all the time”, shouts Jessie “you need a good girl to blow your mind”. “You’ve got a very big sshh”, claims Ariana, before Nicki spits out “ride us up like a Harley…if he hanging we banging”. It’s hardly intelligent songwriting.
Listen: Bang Bang is released on 28th September.