Proving that he’s no longer a good little Mickey Mouse clubber, Jesse tells the world what’s really on his mind…
Remember little Jesse McCartney putting on his best boy-band face and begging for his sweetheart’s “Beautiful Soul”? Well, he’s got other things on his mind now, and he isn’t afraid to let us know. Right from the start, Jesse’s stealing some poor dolt’s girl (”Leavin’”). After a listen to this first track, parents who innocently bought this CD for their impressionable pre-teen will probably be getting concerned.
Imagine their shock when they hear Jesse starts rapping that all he wants to do is “rock” some girl, ‘cause he wants some of “that hey hey hey,” and to “feel it for the night” (”Rock You”). By this third track, McCartney makes it quite clear that he wants as little to do with his previous demographic as possible. Honestly, who wouldn’t after turning twenty-one years old? For those taken a bit aback by the previously mentioned track, wait ‘till he starts crooning that all he wants is to get “into ya,” convincingly sighing “do it” then talking about the “sex with [him].”
Much less graphic is the stand-out track “Makeup.” While the previously discussed songs are probably more notorious than noteworthy, this one is a modern club track that will be sure to get the masses on their collective feet. With skankier vocals than even our dear Brit could muster in her current state, McCartney will have the casual listener chanting, “You’re sexy and ya… know it.”
Jesse shows other moments of true creativity as well. “Freaky” has a very interesting melodic structure, bringing to mind Justin Timberlake’s painfully overlooked “Damn Girl.” Also good in its own right is the pleasant and insanely catchy “Leavin’.” Of mention would be “Into Ya,” were it not for the fact the Lloyd already did this in some form.
Whether or not this overnight morph from pre-teen heartthrob to nymphomaniacal Justin-esque pop singer was a wise one remains to be seen. While he shines on tracks such as the insanely catchy “Leavin’” and the begging-to-be-Michael-Jackson “My Baby,” and also does well with other more-generic tracks such as projected single “How Do You Sleep?,” Jesse doesn’t yet have the fan base that he’s now desperately attempting to court. Most older-teens are not going to be impressed with this mildly explicit sex-pop, as Justin beat him to the punch with the superior FutureSex/LoveSounds. However, it is good, and the abrasive, unapologetic presentation does work to make him quite a bit more noticeable.
While Jesse’s Departure is hardly brilliant, it marks a step in the right direction for McCartney. He just may want to avoid the pitfall of becoming the producer’s pet, as his newness becomes apparent on missteps such as his “rapping” on “Rock You.” They may “call [you] Jesse, baby,” but swagger only counts for half in the pop game.
**1/2 out of ****