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The CD is aptly named, as Jesse McCartney makes an unquestionable departure from his earlier offerings, and distances himself--perhaps permanently?--from the bubble gum world of Disney. (That's almost always a good thing, artistically.)
I didn't expect to like this CD. My only exposure to Jesse McCartney was "Beautiful Soul", a song I happened upon recently, and enjoyed immensely. I was surprised when I downloaded "Leavin'", and liked it, as it had a distinct hip-hop flavor (although still subtly infused with pop), and I've never been a fan of hip-hop. Perhaps I'm getting too old. My grandparents thought Elvis Presley was the devil, I thought he was the King of Rock and Roll, so...I don't know. After hearing "Leavin'" a few times, I liked it, a lot. Then I did something I knew I shouldn't: I looked up the lyrics.
I'm hard of hearing, so lyrics aren't always a big part of a song for me. I hear the music first, and discern the lyrics later, if ever. The lyrics to "Leavin'" were-- peculiar. Perhaps it's an age thing again, but much of the lyrics were incomprehensible to me. And that's when I had a copy of them to read along with the music.
(Before I go here, remember that I'm giving the CD a 5-star review...)
"Hey baby girl, I've been watching you all day (all day x3)
Man that thing you got behind you is amazing (amazing x3)
You make me want to take you out and let it rain (let it rain x3)
I know you got a man but this is what you should say"
So, if I understand this correctly, the girl has a great, *cough*, rear-end, and that makes him want to take her out and "let it rain". I get the great rear-end part, but "let it rain"?Read more ›
Departure is quite a change in direction from Jesse's last studio album, 2006's "Right Where You Want Me." Moving away from the rock-lite direction he'd moved into after his "Beautiful Soul" album and into a more Pop/R&B direction akin to Justin Timberlake.
The result is good, I didn't like "Right Where You Want Me" as much as I liked "Beautiful Soul," his 2004 debut solo record. The opening track "Leavin'" makes me want to drag myself to the dance floor for a slow groove and doesn't stray much further from the dance floor after that.
The highlight, for me, of the Japanese edition is his cover (even though he did write it, and presumably made a demo of the track) of "Bleeding Love." "Bleeding Love" was a massive worldwide #1 single for X-Factor winner Leona Lewis, and Jesse doesn't try to compete with Leona's powerful version. Instead, his version is stripped down, and highlights Jesse's voice, which sometimes gets lost in the production of some of the other tracks on this album.
This is the track list for the Japanese version of "Departure":
02. It's Over
03. Rock You [Feat. Sean Garrett]
04. How Do You Sleep
05. Into Ya
06. Make Up
07. My Baby
08. Told You So
12. Not Your Enemy
13. Oxygen [Japanese Bonus Track]
14. Bleeding Love [Japanese Bonus Track]
15. Leavin' (The Bimbo Remix Edit) [Japanese Bonus Track]
16. Leavin' (JFK MSTRKRFT Remix) [Japanese Bonus Track]
There's no doubt that the guy can sing but the album does nothing to prove that he'll have any longevity in today's music scene. The title is deceptive. There's no departure here - there's nothing on offer that can't be generated by every other act today, there's no departure from the flash in the pan appearance of his debut release and there's certainly no departure from blending in with what's currently getting airplay.
He does try his hardest though. He even tries some pop/hip-hop stylings with Rock You featuring Sean Garrett, who has written for everyone who is anyone and has produced more than a few of the tracks. It's a bit bland and it will disappear from your memory before the next song is half over. He does, however, do a better than expected version of Bleeding Love which was penned by himself and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic fame. His attempt has honesty that you can't find on any of the other tracks on the album. Sadly though, next to Leona Lewis, his version pales in comparison.
Overall, the album is full of the fluff and disposable radio fodder with nothing that will make you want to hit the back button. It's great background music if you're having a lazy afternoon with friends. It's simple, it doesn't require thought and if you have teenage sisters, it'll make a great gift - they'll swoon over it. My sisters love me now.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have many of Jesse Mccartney cd. This one i listen to a lot when going to school and to work.Published on September 10, 2013 by Mandy
i really liked this cd it was only 2 songs i thought he was trying way too hard to sound black but other than that it was worth the purchasePublished on December 28, 2009 by R. Neal
No talent to speak off here just a male britney. In 20 years he will regret this when his cd skips during a "live" performance.Published on August 12, 2009 by Deimos
I did not expect to like this cd but was really surprised with Jesse's voice and the maturity of the songs. "Makeup" and "Freaky" are pretty much teen fillers which I always skip. Read morePublished on June 7, 2009 by Gabe Robinson
THIS HAS TO BE THE MOST AMAZING CD JESSE HAS DONE. HE SHOWS HOW MUCH HE HAS GROWN MUSICALLY, BUT STILL KEEPS SOME OF HIS OLD SELF IN IT. Read morePublished on May 9, 2009 by SHELLY_LOVES_JESSE
Just a phenomenal album - Jesse's growing up and, like any artist nay any person evolving. Let's look at the past year - Co-wrote Bleeding Love which was a humungous hit -... Read morePublished on February 9, 2009 by Mencken
In 2004 17 year old Jesse McCartney's debut album Beautiful Soul went platinum. Then he dropped off the radar. Read morePublished on January 12, 2009 by E. L. Jennings