Jason Derulo- Tattoos Album Review by Yvorn Aswad

Jason Derulo Tattoos Album Cover

Title: Tattoos
Artist: Jason Derulo
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Genre(s): Pop
Released: September 23, 2013
Social: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  

Jason Derulo’s Tattoo is pop music.  It’s bubblegum. It’s airy.  It passes through your ear like an ephemeral substance, elucidating moments of audio bliss.  And it works!

Back with his third album after a difficult year that nearly left him paralyzed, Derulo has stated that he wanted to show his growth and musical versatility.  Of course, that is a difficult order with pop music given its amorphous definition and tendencies to be only superficial, holding no real substance.

Nonetheless, Derulo’s efforts are met with success on this album.  In a day and age where electronic beats and auto-tuned voices are more tyrant than king, Derulo somehow manages to pull off those devices without weighing down the album.  Instead he produces music that is (simply put) auditory fun!

The lead single “The Other Side” is also the album’s first track.  Immediately listeners get transfixed on the happy beat of the song.  The song features unoriginal lyrics about rapturous young love; standard pop music imagery. And yet with sayings like “tonight we’ll just get drunk, disturb the peace” and “kiss me like it’s do or die”, Derulo creates a sense of reckless abandonment  in which the audience can simply (if not vapidly)  fall into and groove.

“Talk Dirty” boasts a jazzy beat and an outlandish feature from none other than Mr. Chainz himself.  The combination of the two sets the song up to be another chart topping hit for Derulo.  But that’s not the only powerhouse guest featured on the album.  Derulo also brings The Game and perennial pop-chart favorite Pitbull along on the tracks “Side Fx” and “Fire” respectively. Produced with the electronic sounds one has come to expect of modern pop music, and peppered with the millennial battle cry “turn up”, these songs almost seem like carbon copies of other Top 40 hits. However, they are so charged with high energy by Derulo’s fluid voice and occasional falsettos, that you feel engaged with a sugary-pop buzz.

Perhaps the most significant feature (and, indeed, song of the album) comes from real-life girlfriend Jordin Sparks. The two sing the sensuous duet “Vertigo”. It’s a stripped down number, baring nothing but the singers voices over an acoustic piano. In addition to displaying the evident chemistry he shares with the American Idol champ, this song showcases Derulo’s voice and potential to produce more than pop.

But, of course, when he makes pop music so successfully, what motive is there to change! Jason Derulo, with his light-hearted, full-energy sound, gives pop music a masculine energy, making it stand out from the bubblegum scene. The album exemplifies Derulo’s joie de vivre, making for a pleasant listening experience!

Rating: B+

Tracks We Like: Talk Dirty to Me, Vertigo

Tattoos Track 2: Talk Dirty to Me


Tattoos Track 6: Vertigo



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