Jessie J: Sweet Talker

U.K. pop star tries again to take the States, with limited results

Credit: Chelsea Lauren/Getty

Jessie J is huge in the U.K., but she's never quite managed to break out stateside (last year's Alive didn't even get a U.S. release). "Bang Bang" – the omnipresent first single from her third LP – suggests she might finally be on the brink of a crossover. If she does, it won't be because she made a great album. Opening tracks "Ain't Been Done" and "Burnin' Up" write a swaggering electro-pop check that never gets cashed by the dozen or so midtempo R&B cuts that follow. Her powerhouse vocals almost channel Mariah on the De La Soul-assisted "Seal Me With a Kiss," but mostly they get buried on too many hollow ballads. Jessie's at her best when she's having fun. She just doesn't have enough of it here.