Thursday, August 6, 2009

To the floorArtist: Jessica Mauboy
Album: Been Waiting [2009 Album Re-Issue]

FINALLY, an r&b singer Australia can be proud of! We haven't had a distinct voice in r&b music here for a while, and we CERTAINLY haven't had one who was an actual success. Jessica Mauboy has thankfully changed all that with her debut album!!!! Why is it good?...........well, for one thing, it has the production value of an American artist. Don't get me wrong, there are some Aussie acts making some good music out there, but as far as pop and r&b artists go, we really don't have a good selection. Rock and dance is where a lot of the better Aussie stuff is found, the rest of us pop lovers are left with some cheap and very LOCAL sounding singers [Nat Bass, Rickie Lee ect.].
Not only is the production on the album good, but Jess has a killer voice and from what i've seen on tv, is FANTASTIC live. She's a great package, and i'm surprised and happy at how well she is doing.

'Been Waiting' has actually been out for sometime now. It came out at the end of 2008, and although i have been listening to the album since then, it's taken a while for me to fully appreciate what Jess has to offer as an artist. The album itself doesn't break any new ground. It's fairly standard r&b/pop, and she has the voice of about 10 other U.S r&b singers out there, but........ that doesn't mean the songs aren't good, and some of them are REALLY good.
I guess the one song she is MOST well known for is her first single 'Running Back' which features Flo Rida [to everyones surprise]. It was a big single, and she was lucky to have such an international name attached to the song. I'm sure it helped in giving her a bit of a push as far as audience appeal goes. Since then she's had a whole string of strong singles, like the Rihanna inspired 'Burn', the 90's sounding 'Been Waiting', the club track 'Up/Down' and my favourite off the record, 'Because', which is a BEAUTIFUL ballad.

The album isn't free of duds, there are a couple dull moments, the main one being her cover of 'Time After Time'. Ballads, 'Used2B' and 'Let Me Be Me' left me feeling a bit bored as well. The rest of the album tracks aside from the singles are still good though. 'To The Floor' is a sexy club track, 'Empty' reminds me a little of a Justin Timberlake song, and 'Back2U' is a bit fluffy, but still cute.

The re-issue of the album has a few b-sides and remixes attached to it, most of them good. It's a shame the bonus song 'Magical' didn't make it on the re-issue. It appeared on the 'Running Back' single and it's my second favourite song by her. Would have been cool seeing that get a bit more exposure. In fact, if you gather the album tracks, and b-side tracks together, you have a quite a lot of good stuff to sift through. That's how i'm rating this album, based on EVERYTHING i've heard from her, not JUST the original edition of the record.

Overall, it's a very decent effort for a debut album, AND for an Australian Idol runner up. Let's face it, Idol hasn't really given us a lot to brag about has it? not from me anyway. I hope Jess sticks around for a while and coughs up a few more records down the line. I like her vibe, i hope to hear more. I look forward to seeing her open for Beyonce on her Australian tour in September!

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