26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I absolutely loved this CD, and I shouldn't have, for reasons that should become obvious.
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"? I have no clue.
When I was a teen, I swore I would never outgrow music as my parents had done. I would be one of those cool DJs who, at 65, were spinning today's records on AM stations (this was the early 80s), and liking what they heard. That hasn't happened.
But it did happen *here*. Other parts of the CD are much more hip-hop than "Leavin'", and I liked some of them better. All of the songs are strong, and if it were my choice, I'd have had a difficult time picking the first single. And Jesse's voice is terrific all the way through. On earlier offerings, it's sounded strained in places. He's obviously put some work in, vocally.
This is a 5-star review from someone who really shouldn't have liked the CD. I doubt anyone reading these reviews will be anything other than "JesseMac" fans, but for the odd chance that you're reading this and you hate "JesseMac", and you hate hip-hop, and for some reason you're wondering whether to give this a listen, I say YES. Give it a listen. It's incredibly mature music (note that I said music, and not lyrics--that's not age; I'm a writer, and things need to make sense, even lyrics to hip-hop songs).
Some have said that he's a sell-out for changing his style. Maybe he is. I would argue, however, that he isn't. He's 21 years old, so it's impossible for him to have cemented a style. Moreover, this is the first CD that he's had as much of a hand in writing and producing. He certainly sounds likes he's having fun. Who's to judge?
Also, btw - KUDOS to him for not having a Zac Efron look-alike "emo" haircut. Every "tween" looks exactly the same these days, because they have the same hairstyle. (This, of course, has nothing to do with his music. Still. Nice to see that he's taking risks.)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you think you know Jesse McCartney, think again, 'cause this 21 year old former Disney boy did what many believed was almost impossible: he pulled a Justin Timberlake.
Granted, his previous efforts weren't half bad, I'd even say they were underrated, however, this one is a real "departure".
It could have easily turned out to be a desperate JT wannabe's pale copy of Justified. Only it isn't. With the smash hit "Bleeding Love" sung by Leona Lewis, McCartney has already proven himself as a mature writer to critics. His own record, however, the third album "Departure", will really surprise the audience.
The first single "Leavin'" was an excellent choice as it really bridges the gap between pretty boy Jesse and the new, 21 year old R&B singer. With amazing club remixes (the Ralphi Rosario Club Mix in particular) and a killer acoustic version recorded for KISS FM proving McCartney's vocal skills, the song is a solid Billboard Top10 hit.
"Leavin'", however is by far not the only excellent track on the new album. In fact, almost all the tracks have the potential to appeal to different types of people.
The ones that stand out for me personally are songs like "Rock You", which will make the casual fan check the CD cover twice as they will simply not believe they are listening to a Jesse McCartney album. The shock will only be a positive one, though, as Jesse and Sean Garret sell the song as good as anyone could. It is a smash hit.
The almost boybandish (think *N Sync 2008) "How Do You Sleep" with a catchy chorus you'll find yourself humming all day long, is the ultimate "guilty pleasure" on the CD. Rumor has it, it might even be the next single.
"My Baby" is one of McCartney's personal favorites and, although I find it slightly boring, there is a certain flow to the song that makes it worth checking out. It is also one of the most "Justin-like" tracks, but again, it never feels like a cheap copy.
"Relapse" is another surprising song which is not too complex or sophisticated, yet has a certain mood to it, with a midtempo beat that makes it very enjoyable.
"Runnin'" is one of the highlights of "Departure". It is a very well written and performed midtempo song which begs for the "repeat track" function on your mp3 player.
The track that amazed me the most, however, is the one I consider McCartney's best work ever. If he has the guts, he simply has to release "Make Up" as the next single. Granted, this will cause the most controversy and might be too much for the screaming 13 year old "Beautiful Soul" fans. However with the steamy/cheeky lyrics, the irresistible beat fueled by the background vocals ("Uh-hey"), the killer base and the sexy Brazilian chick whispering, this flawlessly produced Kwame club-banger could establish McCartney as the coolest thing since sliced bread. Warning: the song is massively addictive!
Altogether, even with its weaker tracks, McCartney's third album gets a solid "A" on my chart. The only question is, will the media, the market, the fans allow Jesse to grow up. Will people be open enough to give it a try and listen to the album with an open mind forgetting (forgiving?) the blond-dyed Disney-boy past.
If so, Justin Timberlake will have to watch his "sexy back". McCartney ain't "leavin", he's about to "rock you".