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Jessie James

3.9 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2009 debut album from the new Pop princess. Recorded in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, and London, the album takes off with 'Wanted', the full-throttle Dance-Rock scorcher that Jessie co-wrote with American Idol judge and hit songwriter Kara DioGuardi. There's also 'Bullet', a catchy Rock gem co-written with pal Katy Perry.

About the Artist

"I only want to be wanted by you," belts out 20-year-old Georgia stunner Jessica Rose James, better known as newly minted pop diva Jessie James, on "Wanted," the first single from her Mercury Records/Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ) debut album, and it's love at first listen.

A big talent in a petite, power-packed package, James has been ready for her close-up since she was the age of two, when the self-described, well-traveled "military brat," (with a little bit of Greek and Italian thrown in there), born under the fiery Aries sign in a field hospital in Italy, started singing into a toy microphone and tape recorder, a gift from her mom. By nine, she was composing her own songs on a plastic guitar (the first called "It's Gonna Be Alright"), performing as a youngster at events like the opening of Sea World and the Republican Convention, and working with a string of significant writers in Nashville at 15.

After one of her song demos landed in the hands of Mercury President David Massey, she aced an audition with IDJ boss Antonio "L.A." Reid. "He got out from behind his desk, started dancing, hugged me and said, `We're going to dinner...and welcome to the label!'

"I've known this is what I was supposed to do since I was 10," adds Jessie, who cites her influences as LeAnn Rimes, Christina Aguilera, Janis Joplin and Bobbie Gentry. "I'm just anxious to get out there and let the world hear me. I'm just so excited. I've got a lot to say and I'm more than ready for this."

With a message of female empowerment and refusing to play the victim, Jessie's first single, "Wanted," which she co-wrote with American Idol judge and hit songwriter Kara DioGuardi as well as Mitch Allen and David Hodges, shows off her intensity in a full-throttle dance-rock scorcher that catches and won't let go.

"My mother taught me when I was growing up not to let myself be treated badly," she insists. "I think it's a real good message to young girls out there... don't wait around for a guy to change. Just get out.

"I just don't like doing what I'm told. That's what I love about rock. Rockers are just so ballsy. They do whatever they want on-stage, which I really admire. You still have to be a lady, but I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to be like that. I feel like, in another world, I could have been in a `90s rock band."

On songs like the twangy "My Cowboy," co-written with Mercury Nashville artist Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser, first previewed by Perez Hilton on his popular website last year, and the sassy "Blue Jeans," with its hip-hop swagger and tribal percussion--featured on the soundtrack of the hit Touchstone film version of Sophie Kinsella's best-seller Confessions of a Shopaholic--Jessie shows she's not afraid to strut her sexuality, either. She points out that lyrics like "Gimme some like I never had" ("Wanted") and "Saddle up and take me for a little ride" ("My Cowboy") may be just what they say, suggesting the latter could well be about hopping on a horse.

"You can take it anyway you want," she laughs. "There's nothing wrong with being a little sexy, if you do it with class. I'm not going out there taking my clothes off, but I do think it's empowering to feel comfortable with your sexuality...within reason, of course."

Working with producer Julian Bunetta (Hillary Duff, Sean Kingston), James' debut album shows off a variety of musical styles and sounds, from the arena-rock belt of "Wanted," the mix of banjo, fiddle and rock guitar in "My Cowboy" and the hip-hop beat and playful schoolyard rhyming of "Blue Jeans" to the torch song ballad "Guilty" and the stark, stripped-down, soulful blues intimacy of "Liar."

"When I first tried to get a record deal, my real problem was, I couldn't put my music in a single box," she explains. "I just loved everything. That was part of me growing up in so many different places. I didn't want to limit myself to just one kind of music. I just decided, why not just do all of it, and somehow blend it together. And I think I've done that. There are all different types of music, beats and instrumentation."

And though based in Nashville, this "southern girl" wanted to "be a little more risky," delving into other genres, especially on "Blue Jeans, co-written with Bunetta, a playful, hip-hop chant, inspired by her experience on the step team in high school.

"That song came about in the studio," she recalls. "Julian and I worked for hours upon hours in the studio making hit happen. We were on the same page, young and hungry, and it just worked."

Co-written with Josh Kear, who penned Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," and Mark Irwin (Garth Brooks), "Guilty" is similarly a song that turns the tables on the usual tale of women as victims, deciding, in no uncertain terms, what's good for one is good for the other, with telling lines like, "I feel everything/But guilty."

"That's my favorite song on the album, production-wise, lyrics, melody," says Jessie. "You can really feel the pain I'm going through. I was dating this rock musician at the time, who was always on tour. And I was thinking, `I bet he's doing all these things, so why shouldn't I?' So I went into a writer's session with Josh and told him how I was feeling about this guy, what was going on in my head. He started strumming the guitar and I just began singing. It just felt so natural, a really special moment.

"I've never written a song I didn't feel true to. Everything I've ever done is a true story. I feel everything I write. I can't fake it."

For Jessie James, music is her life, her passion, her lover. She won't even date, with her focus saved strictly for her career. She has no other choice. And now, she is fully prepared to see all those childhood dreams finally come true.

"I'm losing patience/Over the time you've wasted," she wails in "Wanted" about a recalcitrant lover, but she may as well be talking about the release of her new album.

"I've always had too many fantasies to just settle in life," she says. "I'll never quit chasing my dreams. I don't care about the money or the fame. I've always been an old soul and able to relate to people older than me. That's why I had a difficult time in school. I was ready to get out and start singing. I'd sit in math class writing songs in my journal, looking at the clock, waiting to leave."

For Jessie James, school's out. With her debut Mercury album, she's graduated and on her way to the stardom she always envisioned for herself.

"I just want to be wonderful," she writes on her MySpace page.

Jessie James' self-titled bow proves she's more than ready to seize her moment.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 11, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury Records
  • ASIN: B002DKGWUM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,887 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Jessie James Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
If you are considering purchasing this album (for the formidable price of...$1.99), I would go right ahead. All of Jessie's songs are well done and her voice is just fine and dandy. As I was listening to the album all the way through, I found myself singing along, bopping around in my chair and occasionally laughing out loud, not in derision, but in delight at the humor and general fun of some of the songs lyrics. The tunes are catchy and Jessie's singing is just as good or better, in spots, than a lot of the other young women topping the charts. So, perhaps the nay-sayers will give her another listen, with the mind set that she's here to entertain us, not to change our lives and save our souls.
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An extraordinary premiere effort by a musical talent who could make it as either a songwriter, or a singer...but gives us the gift, in her eponymous debut, of both. Jessie James possesses remarkable emotional insight for someone so young, a deft manner with both lyrics and melody, and a deliciously rich voice to communicate it all. And, as a couple of the women in my life have observed (when chuckling at me for being enthralled with her music), she's pretty freakin' hot. Obviously, her beauty has nothing whatsoever to do with her music...but it doesn't hurt a thing.

Other reviewers criticize the album as not having a defined "theme." I disagree. The theme, with a couple of alternately playful and earnest self-conscious exceptions (Blue Jeans, and Girl Next Door respectively), represents the range of the young romantic experience. It covers the evolution of the relationship from beginning to end, with some arguably seamy, but emotionally resonant, sidetrips. We start with two fun but self-assertive anthems to what the modern woman seeks--what we would all hope our sisters and daughters find--in My Cowboy and Big Mouth. She gives us two portraits of the burning compulsion of newfound desire, whether lustier in nature (Wanted), or somewhat more idealized (Inevitable, which is also one of the "sidetrip" songs). It proceeds through a thoughtful retrospective on something that was either a pre-empted romance, or might have started, but been ended before it got too serious (Burnin' Bridges). Illicit romance, as pining true love (Inevitable) or something less noble (Guilty). We see permutations of the end of love, both as the one ending things (Burn It Up), and as the one surviving, and flourishing, despite heartbreak (I Look So Good Without You).
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Wow...what can I say?..I'm a dance and techno freak so the twang wasn't exactly what i was listening for, but it's not that bad. Sure a little slide guitar and blues guitar was a given, but I do like the album. It's words are funny and the tunes are catchy. I first heard of her music with the song "dangerous" and turned some of the dance crowd on to it..and they liked it!...so yeah its definitely worth the $1.99. Although my hardcore dance friends blow if off as pop, It'll be my secret guilty pleasure.
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I only know a few songs on the CD, but the ones I do know are awesome and my daughter likes them too. I can't seem to get into the ones I don't know, which would probably be why they were never on the internet.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While the songs contained on this disc aren't "bad" per se (they're better than many other "new artists'" CDs I've heard lately), a number of them seem pretty derivative of other songs already out in the market. In particular, the 2nd & 5th tracks seem to borrow riffs from other popular songs or resample and put some other lyrics to them. Pretty sure I've heard these riffs elsewhere... For some reason "Bullet" (2nd track) reminds me parts of of Alanis Morrissette's "You Oughta Know." Different, sure. But still... Just seems like some of what Jessi James does here has already been done as well or better elsewhere.

Overall, they're not bad, it's just there's nothing that stands out to me as particularly 'original' or 'can't live without it.' I guess I'd say there's nothing that really distinguished it from other pop songs currently on the radio or made it stand out. The songs were competent, I just didn't feel like they were 'inspired' or did much to distinguish themselves from the songs they'll be competing with for radio air time...
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(Note, this is really a 2.5 star review, but I had to round down or up, and I think it's a LITTLE closer to 2 than 3, I could have just as easily made it 3).

This is primarily a first listen review, and I'll edit if my opinion changes significantly.

About a year ago (in fact, August 3rd, 2008), Amazon put up another album by a rising female solo artist who made notice on sex appeal for a highly discounted price as a DotD. Since then, Katy Perry has had four highly charted singles (I Kissed A Girl [which was active at sale time], Hot 'N' Cold, Thinking of You, and Waking Up in Vegas). Not exactly a critical darling, but even a cursory listen of that album showed several songs with hit potential. Regrettably for Jessie James, her album doesn't seem to hold the same promise.

The current single, "Wanted", is a highly charged and generally positive pop effort. That's not exactly re-writing the pop history books, but it's a relatively edgy, strong first showing from Jessie James. However, as a first listen through the album progressed, the problems began to arise.

First, not enough of the other songs really pop out as individual entities. "Burn It Up" has a somewhat more subtle, but similar style to "Wanted", and seems like a logical counterpart. "Psycho Girlfriend" has a distinctly interesting pace, mostly because it's reminiscent of a 90's song or two. But otherwise, if you quizzed me on the other nine tracks, I would probably have trouble matching titles. It's a mash of songs, without many clear standouts.

Second, as another reviewer mentioned, you don't get a real sense of Jessie James the artist. You get one style on "Burn It Up" and "Wanted", you get a different style on a song like "Bullet" than you would on "Blue Jeans".
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