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CD REVIEW: Jesse McCartney - "Departure"
By Gian F - 05/28/2008 - 06:28 PM EDT

Artist: Jesse McCartney
Album: Departure
Label: Hollywood Records
Genre: R&B
Sounds Like: Justin Timberlake/Ne-Yo/Usher
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: My Baby, It's Over, I Told You So, Leavin, Into Ya
Weakness: None!
CD Review:

When Jesse McCartney first arrived on the commercial music scene, it was hard to get a good read on him: Was he a Pop artist? An R&B artist? A Justin Timberlake wannabe? Or worse, a facsimile of Aaron Carter?


With his last hit single She's No You, he proved himself as a qualified and capable vocalist, but did little to establish his own identity in the process. That was then. This is now. After co-writing Bleeding Love by heralded temptress Leona Lewis, he's back with an arsenal of high caliber songs which contain scintillating performances and no hint of a lingering identity crisis.


"Leaving," the lead track and debut video, only gives you a glimpse into the more refined, confident, and aggressive Jesse who showcases increased ranged and improved vocal agility while paying homage to Michael Jackson on the European flavored tracks "My Baby," the energetic "Relapse," which features musical changes and breakdowns that music connoisseurs (and lovers) will applaud, and "Freaky," a percussion driven tune which could easily become a dance floor favorite. They all would have great impact at radio.


Jesse strategically covered all (mainstream) bases on this CD. His core fan base will appreciate the Disney friendly, "How Do You Sleep?" The Ne-Yo phites will gravitate towards and embrace "Told You So," and the Justin Timberlake fans will relish "It's Over," a ballad that mangages to capture the essence of Cry Me A River and Usher's Let It Burn - both number one songs. Both tracks, as do all the songs on this project, are accentuated by sublime music production that never overshadows or detracts.


Nowhere is that more evident than on "Into Ya," a sexy R-rated tune replete with lustful lyrics (...Baby your soft skin is every indication to me that you need me to hold ya, protect you from the cold, and then just send you to sleep...) that punctuate Jesse’s growth and shatter the squeaky clean image that earned him the 2006 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice winner as Favorite Male Singer.


With one of the best produced and most commercial projects released this year, Departure is sure to mark Jesse McCartney's arrival as a star.


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Jesse McCartney

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Jesse McCartney in Leaving

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