I was supposed to do a review on this last year but alas, I got too busy. Better late than never, right?I always stress the importance of a cohesive record that, at the same time shows that the artist can(figuratively) jump through hoops and walk on fire. Been Waiting shows just how to effortlessly do exactly that AND be contemporary enough to compete with existing music heavyweights. The album may be able to compete with the greats but when you hear the album, you know it's her and you know that's who she really is. She isn't trying to be the next Rihanna or anyone, she's being herself.
But aside from a good record, you obviously have to have a whole lot of talent. You can have the best production team, songwriters and a cohesive album behind you but without the raw talent, you won't get anywhere. What's strange for me is that Jessica didn't actually win Australian Idol. Don't get me wrong, the guy who won has a nice voice and his debut single was OK but compared to Jessica, he doesn't seem very special.
The album opens with a very strong, contemporary track - Running Back. Written by Jessica herself and the guy who gave us Delta Goodrem's Born To Try, it's a very strong R&B song that I think can go head-to-head with Umbrella any day. Amidst the very urban/R&B sound, this song still actually has a melody and a structure, which I love. Bottom line is, it's a gorgeous song and it should've gone to number one in Australia.
After the very heavy first track, Been Waiting comes along and brightens up the whole album which is another plus point on this album. You can't put one heavy track after another, people will either get really bored and not listen to the second one or won't listen to the whole album altogether. It's got a lighter instrumentation and the melody is even more structured than Running Back, it's like a proper R&B mid-tempo that can easily rival Mary J Blige.
I remember reading a review that said Burn sounded like a Britney song. It does remind me a bit of Britney but the main difference with Jessica and Britney is that Jessica actually uses her amazing voice whereas Britney sounds like she's being strangled when she sings.
Used2B is probably one of my ultimate favorites out of the already amazing album. It's a sweet mid-tempo verging on a ballad that has one of the most gorgeous melodies I've heard, somewhere around the level of Jordan Pruitt's Unconditional(and that was my favorite song of 2008 already..). I did a little research on the guy who wrote the song and he said that the perfect pop song should be around 3:40 and the first chorus should kick in before a minute, which means Used2B is the perfect pop song? haha. If Used2B is gorgeous, Back2U is brilliant. It's a cheery mid-tempo, even cheerier than Been Waiting and it's a pleasure to listen to.
Phew. That was long, lemme just run down the other tracks..
Empty reminds me of Running Back, it's got a similar sound and a similar structure but I like Empty better. Because is an Unfaithful-esque song with more beats and a snappy-er melody, it's got more bite than the Rihanna song. True to it's title, To The Floor is very dance/club-y, I can imagine it playing in a hip LA/NY club. Not a big fan of Time After Time itself but I love the arrangement, very Jessica from what I'm getting with the rest of the album.
Up/Down sounds like something that would go very well in a chick flick or fashion-related like Confessions of a Shopaholic or the Bratz movie, I love the melody and it makes you want to tap your feet and have a lot of fun. Finally, the album ends with Let Me Be Me - a song written by Britain's entry to the Eurovision, Jade Ewen. I love the melody, I think it's a gorgeous song and the verses definitely stand out more than the chorus. I don't know if it's a good thing or not but over-all, I like the song.
It's a pleasure listening to this album, it doesn't leave me hanging - if this was the only album she'll ever release(God forbid that ever happens..), I'd be satisfied but if not, I'd obviously want a lot more material.
SO, to sum up the album:
Best Track: Used2B
Better Tracks: EVERYTHING ELSE!(Yes! Even Time After Time, it has it's plus points!)
Least Favorite Track: None.
THE RATING: 5/5