When confronted by a new Jason Derulo album, one of the first questions that springs to mind is: how long does it take for him to sing his own name?
Because that's what Jason Derulo is to music fans – something of a figure of fun. He takes himself extraordinarily seriously, but the quality of his work always comes second to his idiosyncrasies, whether they be his frequent self-referencing, like a modern day Craig David, or his awkward lyrics about a bra reminding him of a Katy Perry song or a booty that don't need explaining. The fact he's playing it all completely straight only makes it funnier.
However, on 'Everything Is 4', Derulo has stripped away all of those oddities to focus purely on the music and, in the process, has lost much of what sets him apart from the pack. Tracks such as 'Want To Want Me' and 'Get Ugly' are slick, professional examples of pop-tinged R&B in 2015, but they don't stay with you and, truthfully, there could be any one of a number of singers behind them. At this stage of his career, Derulo is established enough that he can afford to take risks, so it's extra disheartening to find him chasing the pack rather than leading it, and conforming to bland homogeneity as a result.
'Everything Is 4' will probably spawn a couple of moderately successful singles, but nothing that will still be remembered by Christmas. It's disappointing stuff from an artist who has previously shown that he's not afraid to try something a little bit different.
Incidentally, it takes roughly 1.5 seconds for Derulo to sing his own name on 'Everything Is 4', but even that's not enough to save this endurance test of a record.
Words: Joe Rivers
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