Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Jessie J – Not My Ex



Iain Mew: I shoved this onto my playlist and forgot that I’d put Jessie J on there, and I got through it without clocking or thinking “that’s a bit much” about the vocals more than six or seven times. A major improvement!

Katherine St Asaph: SCENARIO: Jessie J, watching the charts and seeing no “Bang Bang” or anything like it, listens to Julia Michaels once and enters the studio. ALTERNATE SCENARIO: The same, except for some reason with “How to Love.” ALTERNATE SCENARIO: The producers of American Idol, needing to get their diva belter voted off so they can crown another Ed Sheeran clone but to do it without obviously cheating, foist upon her a campfire acoustic arrangement.

Rebecca A. Gowns: I just like this song, OK? I don’t care if it’s part of a rebrand, aiming for a more “authentic” Jessie J like her no-makeup-makeup photoshoots! I don’t care if its best parts are cribbed from better artists! Throw away the packaging, it’s just a dang good tune!!

Nortey Dowuona: Smooth bass, crinkling and swooping synths, sliding guitar and simple, stiff drums and one of the most confident vocal performances Jessie J has ever done.

Mo Kim: Is this really Jessie J? The newfound restraint in her vocal brings her performance dimension it hasn’t touched before, and the bitterness that poisoned diatribes like “Who’s Laughing Now” and “Price Tag” has taken a backdrop to the vulnerability and hope of the fledgling relationship she’s opening herself up to. That she needed to fall back on Sunday school gospel to reinvent herself troubles me for reasons I can’t fully articulate, but if this is the direction she’s moving in, I’m excited to see it.

Alfred Soto: A lived-in, well-wrought dilemma, perhaps too restrained for a voice not suited for R&B. 

Julian de Valliere: “Not My Ex” is to new relationship songs what rolled ice cream is to the dessert world. There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the output — from its let’s-be-real lyrics to the understated production that aims to match them — but it executes this tried and tested recipe well and presents it in a novelty form, i.e. delivered by the vocal vessel that is Jessica Ellen Cornish.

Will Adams: In which Jessie J looks to the other Jessie for guidance as she dives into subdued radio R&B. It works better than expected until her usual tendencies get the better of the song; she does the slow-build thing, but the track doesn’t follow suit, leaving her out in the open as it chugs behind the curtain.

Stephen Eisermann: The dated production works in Jessie’s favor here, as her restrained voice sounds radiant on the minimalist production and the pronounced percussion. I’m still not entirely sure if she is trying to convince her lover or herself about how different this particular relationship will be, but when she sounds this good and (nervously) happy, I’m not sure it entirely matters.

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2 Responses to “Jessie J – Not My Ex”

  1. Iain’s blurb is perfection

  2. Thanks, Rachel!

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