Alive (Jessie J album)
|Studio album by Jessie J|
|Released||23 September 2013|
|Recorded||June 2012 – June 2013|
|Jessie J chronology|
|Singles from Alive|
Alive is the second studio album by British singer-songwriter Jessie J. It was released on 23 September 2013 through Lava Music and Universal Republic. American rap artist Becky G, singer Brandy Norwood, American hip-hop artist Big Sean and British Grime artist Dizzee Rascal all make guest appearances on the album. Jessie co-wrote the album with Claude Kelly, amongst a host of collaborators from both new and old. Upon release, the album was met with a mixed reception of music critics. While there was praise for Jessie's vocals, some felt that the album was too generic. Musically, Alive is a pop and R&B album that features influences from dance-pop, pop rock, soul and hip hop in its production.
The album debuted and peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart. It spawned two top-five hits including "Wild" and "It's My Party", as well as a top-twenty single, "Thunder". Jessie supported Alive with the Alive Tour, playing 19 dates across the UK, from October to November 2013.
"Alive" was recorded over a twelve-month period between June 2012 and May 2013 in London, New York City 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 the letter "O" in it. Although Jessie quickly extinguished these statements in an interview with Digital Spy saying: "You will see the title and you’ll 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."
Promotion and release
"Square One" was performed acoustically on a Google hangout with her fans. 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. "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. "Sexy Lady" was used by highstreet retailer Boots to promote its No.7 brand, during a TV ad campaign in September 2013.
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 track list circulated the internet and was noticed by Jessie herself, she was forced to reveal the back cover art of the album and the official track list via Twitter and Instagram.
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 was to record new material for it, which was rumoured to be produced by Pharrell Williams. In an interview, she said she planned on moving to the United States the following year in an effort to break into the country's market. In an interview, Jessie said she expected the American version of the album to be released in 2014. This idea was later scrapped for unknown reasons and she began work on a brand new album, 2014's Sweet Talker, worldwide. The album was released digitally and on streaming services in the US in August 2015.
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 the album's third and final 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.
|The Financial Times|||
|London Evening Standard|||
Upon its release, Alive received generally mixed reviews from critics. 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."
Alive debuted and peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart, selling 39,270 copies in its first week of release. The album slipped to number seven selling 14,574 copies the following week. Altogether, Alive spent a total of 12 weeks inside the top 40 of the chart, and by November 2013 had been certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipments of 100,000 units. It has sold over 179,000 copies in the United Kingdom as of 2014.
Across Europe, Alive was a moderate success managing to chart inside the top 40 in most countries. In Switzerland, the album debuted at number fifteen, considerably higher than that of her previous album Who You Are which debuted at number twenty-nine. In Austria, the album debuted at number thirty-six, whereas, debuting at number nineteen in Spain and the Netherlands. In France, however, Alive debuted outside the top 100 at number 104. In Oceania the album had some success; in New Zealand, Alive debuted at number eighteen, whereas, in Australia, the album debuted inside the top 10 at number seven before falling to number twenty-eight the following week. Due to the lack promotion in the United States, Alive failed to chart on the US Billboard 200.
|Alive — Standard edition|
|1.||"It's My Party"||
|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)||
|Alive — Australian and New Zealand iTunes Store edition|
|14.||"Wild" (featuring Big Sean)||
|Alive — Deluxe edition (bonus tracks)|
|17.||"It's My Party" (All About She UKG Remix)||
|Alive — Australian and New Zealand iTunes Store deluxe edition|
|18.||"Wild" (featuring Big Sean)||
- All vocals were produced by Claude Kelly except deluxe edition bonus track "Magnetic", where vocals were produced by Lorne Alistair Tennant and STL.
- ^[A] indicates additional production.
- ^[B] indicates remix production.
Charts and certifications
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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
- on YouTube
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- Jessie J | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company
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