Sweet Talker (Jessie J album)

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Sweet Talker
Jessie J - Sweet Talker (Official Album Cover).png
Studio album by Jessie J
Released 13 October 2014 (2014-10-13)
Recorded 2013–14
Genre
Length 44:50
Label
Producer
Jessie J chronology
Alive
(2013)Alive2013
Sweet Talker
(2014)
R.O.S.E.
(2018)R.O.S.E.2018
Singles from Sweet Talker
  1. "Bang Bang"
    Released: 28 July 2014
  2. "Burnin' Up"
    Released: 23 September 2014
  3. "Masterpiece"
    Released: 13 January 2015

Sweet Talker is the third studio album by English singer Jessie J. It was released on 13 October 2014, by Lava Records and Island Records. Contributing on the album; including rappers 2 Chainz, and Nicki Minaj, singer Ariana Grande, making guest appearances, and the addition to the album was the hip hop group De La Soul and the violinist Lindsey Stirling. Jessie co-wrote the album and worked with several producers such as The-Dream, Diplo, Tricky Stewart, Max Martin, Ammo and amongst the hosts of collaborators from both the new and the old.

The album was preceded by the lead single, "Bang Bang" (with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj), met with critical acclaim from music critics. It also became a worldwide hit, topping the charts in the United Kingdom, reaching the top 10 in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, and reaching the top 3 in the United States, becoming Jessie's most successful single. The third single, Masterpiece was also successful by reaching the top-ten; including Germany, Switzerland and Austria as well as the top-twenty in Australia and New Zealand. Moreover, the song scored Jessie J her fifth US Billboard Hot 100 hit, following the aforementioned "Bang Bang".

Upon its release, the album received generally mixed reviews from music critics, some of whom commended Jessie's vocal performance, confidence and the production.

Background[edit]

After releasing her second studio album, Alive, in the United Kingdom on 22 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".[1] She was then rumored to be recording new material for an American re-release of the album with Pharrell Williams.[2] In an interview, the singer discussed the possibility of moving to the United States in an effort to break back into the country's market.[3] Jessie later said the American version of the album was expected to be released in 2014.[4][5] However, the re-release idea was eventually scrapped. The project became her third studio album, featuring the material recorded with Williams, as well as contributions from producers such as Max Martin and Ammo.[6]

Promotion[edit]

"Ain't Been Done", "Keep Us Together", "Sweet Talker" and "You Don't Really Know Me" were all performed live at Rock in Rio Lisbon on 1 June 2014.[7] "Bang Bang" was performed live on the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show on 31 July 2014. Moreover, the song was performed as part of the opening medley held by Jessie, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj during the MTV VMAs 2014.[8] In August, Jessie teased a snippet of 2 Chainz's verse on "Burnin' Up" in an interview with Idolator.[9] On 22 September 2014, Jessie performed at iTunes Festival in London.[10] She sang some songs from the new album, like "Sweet Talker", "Your Loss I'm Found", "Keep Us Together", "You Don't Really Know Me", "Ain't Been Done", "Burnin' Up", and "Bang Bang". On 30 September 2014, Jessie announced via Twitter that "Personal" was made available on iTunes for anyone who pre-ordered the entire album as a promotional single.[11][12] "Ain't Been Done" and "Masterpiece" were made available as promotional singles in the same manner on 7 October 2014.[13]

Sweet Talker Tour[edit]

On 4 November 2014, Jessie J announced a six-date tour in the UK. An extra London date was added due to popular demand after tickets sold out for the first date. During 2015 Jessie J travelled around the world promoting her album on the Sweet Talker Tour.

Singles[edit]

The album's first single, "Bang Bang" featuring Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, was first sent to hot adult contemporary radio on 28 July 2014 through Republic Records,[14] the label that houses all three artists, being released as a digital download the next day through Lava and Republic, and serves as a joint single.[15][16][17][18] Commercially, the song became a worldwide hit, debuting at number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and eventually peaking at number 3, making it Jessie's highest peaking song on the chart. It also reached the top ten in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.[citation needed]

On 19 September Jessie announced on Instagram that the official second single is "Burnin' Up" featuring 2 Chainz. The single was released on 23 September on iTunes. On 22 September the song leaked 24 hours earlier than expected.[19][20] Despite planned release in the United Kingdom, Jessie J's management failed to release it to mainstream radio and as a digital single.

"Masterpiece" was released as the third single from the album. Originally released digitally 7 October 2014 as a promotional single, its music video premiered 10 December 2014 to promote it as the next official single.[21] The single was planned to be added to UK contemporary hit radio on 23 March 2015 but this failed to comprehend for the third time. Despite this, efforts from fans pushed the album song to enter the UK Singles chart at 159.

Promotional singles[edit]

The title track, "Sweet Talker", was released as a promotional single in the UK and Ireland on December 1, 2014.[22][23] On July 10, 2015, "Ain’t Been Done" was released as the second promotional single only in Australia.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 56/100[24]
Review scores
Source Rating
ABC 2.5/5 stars[25]
AllMusic 3/5 stars[26]
The A.V. Club C[27]
Daily Mail 3/5 stars
Digital Spy 3.5/5 stars[28]
Drowned in Sound (2/10)[29]
Entertainment Weekly B[30]
The Guardian 3/5 stars
MTV UK 4/5 stars
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars

The album received mixed reviews from music critics, some of whom complimented Jessie J's confidence and vocals and the overall production, whilst others criticised the songs for being "generic". Joanne Dorken from MTV gave it 4 out 5 stars saying that Jessie was "back with a bang!" and said J's "fans were in for a treat", praising tracks like "Ain't Been Done", "Fire", "Masterpiece" and "Sweet Talker", adding that "Overall, Jessie's third offering sees her going back to basics, while also teaming up with a whole hoard of songwriters (52 in total) to craft her more grown-up, more honest sound."[31] The Guardian gave the album a positive review, stating that "[J] constructed Sweet Talker to fit a gap somewhere between Beyoncé and Pink", adding that "it's notable that the best moments come when she uncouples herself from it and just sings for the joy of it, as on the brilliant, fizzy pop banger 'Bang Bang', a deserved No 1 this summer".[32]

The Daily Mail rated the album 3 out of 5 stars, saying that "Recorded with a pack of high-end American and Swedish production gurus, Sweet Talker is low on subtlety and high on precision-tooled R&B verve" and that "Its histrionic guitars, clattering drums and booming choruses make the most of Jessie's hurricane-force vocals, without always adding the necessary warmth and tenderness on the slower songs".[33] Slant Magazine was more critical towards the album, giving it a mixed review, praising the first four tracks on the album but stating that "If all Jessie's label wanted was a few bangers, they could have saved themselves some time and money by tacking them onto a repackaged version of Alive and calling it a day".[34] Katherine St. Aspah of Time Magazine was harsher still, claiming that the album "solved the problem of doing everything right [to only moderate success]", and comes across as "slapdash and retooled to an inch of its life". Aspah did reiterate that "the one distinguishing factor of the Jessie J Brand, as demonstrated on Sweet Talker, is that she can sing", but then went on to clarify that it seemed "a curious statement to make in 2014, as the year's biggest divas, our Beyoncés and Arianas, aren't short on chops".[35] Slant Magazine named it the eighth worst album of 2014.[36]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, Sweet Talker debuted at number ten on the US Billboard 200, selling 25,000 copies in its first week. Despite selling 9,000 copies less than her previous US album, Who You Are, Sweet Talker became Jessie J's first top ten album and her highest charting album in the US to date.[37] In the United Kingdom, "Sweet Talker" debuted at number five selling 16,733 copies, and is certified Silver for sales over 60,000. The album spent a total of 4 weeks inside the Top 40 of the UK Albums Chart.

Track listing[edit]

Sweet Talker — Standard edition[38]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Ain't Been Done"
Gamson 3:00
2. "Burnin' Up" (featuring 2 Chainz) 3:40
3. "Sweet Talker"
  • Diplo
  • The Picard Brothers
3:42
4. "Bang Bang" (with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj)
  • Martin
  • Göransson
  • Ilya
3:19
5. "Fire" Booker 3:56
6. "Personal" Will IDAP 3:54
7. "Masterpiece"
Alexander 3:40
8. "Seal Me with a Kiss" (featuring De La Soul) 3:53
9. "Said Too Much" Jeberg 3:34
10. "Loud" (featuring Lindsey Stirling)
4:33
11. "Keep Us Together"
  • Biancaniello
  • Lifted
  • Vojtesak
3:49
12. "Get Away" 3:50
Total length: 44:50
Sweet Talker — Deluxe edition (bonus tracks)[39]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "Your Loss I'm Found"
  • Cornish
  • Hidde Huijsman
  • Massimo Cacciapuoti
  • Harrell
  • Michel van der Zanden
  • The DFRNS
  • Harrell
3:37
14. "Strip" Ammo 3:33
15. "You Don't Really Know Me"
  • Cornish
  • Lewis Allen
Harrell 3:55
Total length: 55:55
Note
  • Vocal production on every track was handled by Kuk Harrell with the exception of "Strip", which contains vocal production by Claude Kelly and "Personal", which contains vocal production by Jenna Andrews in addition to Harrell.

Sample credit

  • "Seal Me with a Kiss" contains an interpolation of "(Not Just) Knee Deep", written by George Clinton and Philippé Wynne.

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Sweet Talker adapted from Barnes & Noble.[40]

Performance Credits

  • Jessie J – primary artist, background vocals
  • Louis Biancaniello – keyboards
  • Steve Booker – bass, percussion, keyboards
  • Susan Dench – viola
  • David Gamson – drums, keyboards
  • Ivan McCready – cello
  • Leo Payne – violin
  • Audrey Riley – conductor
  • Cathy Thompson – violin
  • Fenella Barton – violin
  • Joy Hawley – cello
  • Peter Lale – viola
  • Clare Thompson – violin
  • Andrew Parker – viola
  • Max Martin – keyboards
  • Joi Gilliam – background vocals
  • Ian Humphries – violin
  • Derrick McKenzie – drums
  • Warren Zielinski – violin
  • Sophie Harris – cello
  • Nick Barr – violin
  • Roland Roberts – violin
  • Adrian Bradbury – cello
  • Ilya – background vocals
  • Joan Atherton – violin
  • Richard George – violin
  • Bridget Carey – viola
  • Laura Melhuish – violin
  • Courtney Harrell – background vocals
  • Lifted – keyboards
  • Rickard Goransson – bass, percussion, keyboards, background vocals
  • Boguslav Kostecki – violin
  • Katherine Gowers – violin
  • Taura Stinson – background vocals
  • Greg Warren Wilson – violin
  • William "Nasty Kutt" Wiik Larsen – background vocals
  • 2 Chainz – vocals
  • Peter Carlsson – percussion, drums
  • Ricky Reed – background vocals
  • Chris Trombling – violin
  • Chonita Gillespie – background vocals
  • Kathy Gowers – violin
  • Jon Hill – violin

Technical Credits

  • Louis Biancaniello – programming, producer
  • Steve Booker – programming, producer, string arrangements
  • David Gamson – programming, producer, engineer
  • Pat Thrall – engineer
  • Scott Roewe – pro-Tools
  • Tom Coyne – mastering
  • Kuk Harrell – producer, vocal engineer, vocal producer
  • Scott Harris – programming
  • Max Martin – programming, producer
  • Steve Mac – producer, string arrangements, piano arrangement
  • Josh Alexander – programming, producer, instrumentation
  • Chris Laws – engineer
  • Diplo – producer
  • Pop! – instrumentation
  • Jonas Jeberg – producer
  • Lifted – programming, producer
  • Todd Russell – art direction
  • Andrew Wuepper – engineer
  • Smit – programming
  • Rickard Goransson – programming, producer
  • Sam Holland – engineer
  • C. "Tricky" Stewart – programming, producer
  • Dann Pursey – engineer
  • Brian "B-luv" thomas – Engineer
  • Rob Stevenson – executive producer
  • Terius "The-dream" nash – Producer
  • Jenna Andrews – vocal producer
  • Pop Wansel – producer
  • William "Nasty Kutt" Wiik Larsen – instrumentation
  • Antonio Rizzello – programming
  • Oak Felder – instrumentation, producer
  • Peter Carlsson – vocal engineer, vocal editing
  • Daniel Zaidenstadt – engineer
  • Axident – producer, engineer
  • Will Idap – producer
  • Ricky Reed – producer, engineer
  • Picard Brothers – programming, producer
  • Ryan Vojtesak – producer
  • Chris Trombling – orchestra leader
  • Alessia Degasperis Brigante – composer
  • Jack Brown – vocal engineer
  • Arek Kopera – drum engineering
  • Godz of Analog – producer

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[41] 14
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[42] 25
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[43] 22
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[44] 42
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[45] 16
Croatian Albums (Toplista)[46] 7
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[47] 26
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[48] 19
French Albums (SNEP)[49] 131
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[50] 25
Irish Albums (IRMA)[51] 11
Italian Albums (FIMI)[52] 33
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[53] 13
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[54] 15
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[55] 30
Scottish Albums (OCC)[56] 6
South Korean Albums (Gaon Chart)[57] 15
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[58] 20
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[59] 15
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[60] 12
UK Albums (OCC)[61] 5
US Billboard 200[62] 10

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[63] Gold 20,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[64] Silver 60,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Edition
United Kingdom 13 October 2014 (2014-10-13) Island Records Standard/Deluxe edition
Worldwide 14 October 2014 (2014-10-14)

References[edit]

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