Alive (Jessie J album)
|Studio album by Jessie J|
|Released||23 September 2013|
|Genre||Pop, synthpop, R&B, pop rock|
|Jessie J chronology|
|Singles from Alive|
Alive is the second studio album from British singer-songwriter Jessie J, released on 23 September 2013. The album features collaborations with the likes of Becky G, Brandy Norwood, Big Sean and Dizzee Rascal. The album debuted at number three with first week sales of 39,270 sales in the UK.
"Alive" was recorded over a twelve month period between June 2012 and May 2013 in London, New York and Los Angeles. The title derives from the song "Alive" on the album. Writing partners on the album include Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler and writer Diane Warren. Jessie J tweeted her excitement, saying she was "living the dream". Throughout the year, Jessie J made several announcements suggesting that she was recording her second album, including saying: "For the seven years before I signed my record deal, I was in a bad place, and I was scared that I couldn't get out of it. That’s why I wrote such upbeat music, as a way of trying to escape how I felt. Now that I am happier, I won’t be afraid to explore my pain. But in a good way; it’ll be me saying that it’s OK not to feel OK."
In June 2013, rumours surfaced online stating Jessie J's new album would be called "Gold" after she announced to Capital FM that the album's title would be one word, and it had an "O" in it. Although Jessie quickly extinguished these statements in an interview with Digital Spy saying: "You will see the title and you’ll the see the picture and you’ll see the album cover and I think it’s summed up in one word, in one picture." Jessie announced the title and release date of Alive during a live performance at V Festival on 17 August 2013. In an interview with Laura Whitmore backstage at the festival, she talked about the album, saying it was written in five weeks and had a more mature sound. When asked about her choice for the album title, she said, "It really represents where I'm at in my life right now and how I feel about my life."
The album became available to pre-order less than an hour later. Several deluxe bundles are available for order on Jessie J's official website, including a super deluxe bundle with signed poster, 12x12 art print and "Alive" shaped mirror designed by Jessie J herself. The super deluxe box sets retail for £40 alongside a deluxe copy of the main album. After a fake tracklist circulated the internet and was noticed by Jessie herself, she was forced to reveal the back cover art of the album and the official tracklist via Twitter and Instagram. On 17 September 2013, Jessie J announced that Alive had leaked in full, and tweeted that it was "a shame".
On 14 September 2013, Jessie J announced that the American version of the album would be pushed back because her American label "didn't feel the album would work on their territory". She will record new material for it, which is rumoured to be produced by Pharrell Williams. In an interview, she said she'll be moving into the United States next year in an effort to break into the country's market. The official release date is still unknown.
Jessie began recording the album in August 2012, teaming up with long-term co-writer Claude Kelly, as well as working with the likes of StarGate and TMS. The first track to be rumoured for inclusion on the album was "Strip", which Jessie discussed during her appearance at the Brit Awards 2013. It was later rumoured that the track would feature Tinie Tempah. "Wild" then premiered as the album's lead single on 26 May 2013. The next track rumoured for inclusion on the album was "Square One", after Jessie performed it acoustically on a Google hangout with her fans.
On 8 July 2013, it was revealed that Jessie had worked with producers The ThundaCatz to record a track for the new Kick-Ass 2 movie, entitled "Hero", which would serve as the closing theme. 1 August 2013, saw the premiere of "It's My Party" through a second Google hangout, with Jessie playing an acoustic preview to her fans with simply guitar riff playing. 7 August 2013 saw the premiere of a track Jessie initially recorded for the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones soundtrack, titled "Magnetic" - although again, no suggestion was made as to its appearance on Alive until the tracklist was unveiled. "Excuse My Rude" then premiered as a promotional single on 12 August 2013, via an official YouTube audio stream. "Square One" was released as a promotional single on 30 August 2013, via iTunes. Finally, "Sexy Lady" premiered as the official theme for the Boots No.7 advert in September 2013.
When a fake tracklist circulated the internet in August 2013, it was suggested that all of the previously rumoured and confirmed tracks would appear. However, the final tracklisting includes all of the above with the exception of "Strip", "Can't See Thru You" and "Calling All Hearts" (the latter being included on both Jessie and Thicke's albums), which is reported for the American version of the album. The fake tracklist included the following tracks which do not appear on the final album: "Sun is Shining"; "Run Baby Run"; "Spotlight", "Calling All Hearts" (featuring Robin Thicke; which was later confirmed as a track recorded for DJ Cassidy's debut album, not Jessie's album); "VIP" (featuring T-Pain; which was revealed to be a track written by Jessie for Koda Kumi, not for her own album); "Fierce", "Paper, Scissors, Stone", "Strip" (featuring Tinie Tempah) and "Breathe Again" (possibly renamed "Breathe" or a mis-interpretation of this title).
|The Financial Times|||
|London Evening Standard|||
Upon its release, Alive received mixed reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 57, based on 4 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews." Some critics widely complimented Jessie J's vocals and self-confidence, while others dismissed the album as "generic" and "overwrought". Gigwise rated the album six stars out of ten and wrote: "The second studio album by Jessie J certainly showcases her singing talent, but while Alive is a mix of good tracks and powerful lyrics - a lot which is too similar to what's been before, or even what is plainly out at the moment". Virgin Media also gave the album a mixed review, saying that "Jessie J has overcome the hurdles of being a moderate singer, bogstandard songwriter and not having an original musical idea in her head to become a bona fide A-list pop star", adding that she "has risen to the occasion and then some. Alive is a better album than its predecessor, with marginally fewer banal four-to-the-floor beats and more chance for Jessie's personality-plus charisma to shine."
London Evening Standard was more positive and gave the album 4 out of 5 stars. The newspaper declared Jessie a "very English response to Katy Perry" and summed Alive as "thumping, very 21st-century pop [...] It’s short on heart but there’s genuine craft here, plus star quality and a puppy-like need to be liked." Digital Spy also reviewed the album positively, writing that "Alive as a whole is an accomplished pop record by an undeniably talented singer-songwriter that results in a natural progression from her debut - and one that can hopefully win some of those 'haters' over", adding that "There's no escaping the fact that Alive does have a tendency to switch genre throughout its course, but the overall thinking does feel much more cohesive than her debut." Heather Phares of Allmusic rated the album three out of five stars. She found that with Alive, Jessie was exploring "nearly as many sounds on her second album as she did on her debut". She felt that album's "simplest and most direct moments, like "Wild"'s dance-pop and "Conquer the World," a heartfelt duet with Brandy, are among its best." Phil Mongredien, writing for The Guardian, wrote that "it's by no means a bad record, although the ballads are best avoided."
The album's first single, "Wild", was released on 26 May 2013. The single, which was written by Jessie J and Claude Kelly, features Big Sean and Dizzee Rascal, and peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart. The song also charted at 9 on the Irish Singles Chart. The music video was directed by Emil Nava and debuted on 25 May 2013.
The second single from the album, "It's My Party", was released on 15 September 2013. It premiered on Capital FM on 5 August 2013. The music video, directed by Emil Nava, was filmed in late June and released on 8 August 2013.
On 17 October 2013, Jessie J announced the release of her third UK single "Thunder", along with its single cover. The song was released on 26 November 2013. The official music video premiered on VEVO on 19 November 2013.
|1.||"It's My Party"||
||Ammo O.C. Kevin Figs||3:13|
|5.||"Harder We Fall"||3:57|
|7.||"I Miss Her"||
|9.||"Excuse My Rude" (featuring Becky G)||
|10.||"Wild" (featuring Big Sean and Dizzee Rascal)||Ammo||3:54|
|12.||"Conquer the World" (featuring Brandy)||
|Deluxe edition |
|17.||"It's My Party" (All About She UKG Remix)||
||All About She||3:44|
|Australia and New Zealand edition (bonus track)|
|14.||"Wild" (featuring Big Sean)||
Charts and certifications
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- [dead link]
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- Published Monday, 8 July 2013, 17:09 BST (2013-07-08). "Jessie J confirms new song 'Hero' for 'Kick-Ass 2' soundtrack - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Published Thursday, 1 August 2013, 11:14 BST (2013-08-01). "Jessie J confirms new single, previews album track - listen - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Published Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 16:28 BST (2013-08-07). "Jessie J premieres new 'Mortal Instruments' song 'Magnetic' - listen - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Published Monday, 12 August 2013, 21:57 BST (2013-08-12). "Jessie J debuts new track 'Excuse My Rude' from second album - listen - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
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- Jessie J Announces New Song 'Thunder' As Next Single From Her Album 'Alive' - Capital FM
- Jessie J "Thunder" (Video Premiere) | Ultimate Music
- Jessie J - Thunder on YouTube
- "iTunes - Music - Alive (Deluxe Edition) by Jessie J". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
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- "British album certifications – Jessie J – Alive". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 October 2013. Enter Alive in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 24 October 2013.