As far as Jay Sean’s career goes, it’s getting perilously close to the juncture where onlookers will just start to ask the obvious question: what is the point of it all? Don’t get us wrong, since “Down” was released in 2009, Jay has still cranked out some solid material including a couple of hits (“2012“), plus the gorgeous “Where Do We Go” – but there is just a lack of clear direction, it’s throwing darts blind in the studio and hoping something sticks. The thing is, he’s a clever guy, and he has always had good taste in music. But perhaps it’s finally time for people to start admitting what we thought all those years ago – moving to Cash Money records was not the best long-term career move. He’s constantly having to curb his natural instincts (R&B), and release mass market dance-pop. The problem is, it’s not even very good dance-pop, it’s not really connecting, and the R&B has suffered too. “I’m All Yours” was a good song, but didn’t really do anything. And “So High” is basically that song once again, minus Pitbull, plus inferior melodies/production to boot. There is such little of Jay Sean’s personality in here that this is simply major label focus-grouped dross, with no real function or purpose. The best bit by far is the breakdown from 2m26s to 3m10s – basically, shit bangs, hard. Aside from that, it’s business as usual. C’mon, Jay. You’re better than this. (Reviewed by Raman)
The fact that it takes Jay Sean almost two full minutes into his own video to start singing the first verse says an awful lot about “I’m All Yours” – there has been a clear devolution in responsibility, and current king of dance-rap guest spots (Pitbull) takes control early on, combines with the chorus, and subsequently the lead becomes the feature. Fortunately, there is still much to like about the single: that sticky hook simply soars; Pitbull’s feature is the sound of a man firmly in the zone; the production is current (handled by Orange Music Factory); and Jay is the usual charming host. There are problems, however: the verses are somewhat bland, plus the sequencing is surprisingly poorly thought out, too (not to mention the failed green screen). However, as with “Down,” when you have the chorus, you have their ear. IAY is very much a sequel and it will definitely be a fun summer smash. It also improves on the former by being more dancefloor friendly (dancing to “Down” is surprisingly difficult), but it’s not as memorable. Still, it should get Jay back in the game – with the messy “Freeze Time” finally on the scrap heap, he’s got to prove to himself that it is “Worth It All.” (Reviewed by Sohail)
“Burn It Down” represents a near quantum leap forward for Kalum, the youngster with an ear for a catchy hook. Whilst it’s not as immediate or charming as his unrefined debut “Up & Away,” when combined with a rather brilliant video, a real artist emerges with actual merit, not to mention vision. The package as a whole lights the blue touch-paper on his career, combining slow burn pop, rock and dance to good effect. The production is well sequenced, crisp and moody; the lyrics are open and inclusive, as Kalum delivers them with aplomb. It’s just an incredibly professional, accomplished and surprisingly heartfelt song, and certainly marks Kalum out as one to watch. PS – we figured out the hidden meaning of the video: think bold. (Reviewed by Sohail)
It’s not often that we here at SuperCritic will say this, but Horizon needs to stop making videos for a while. He’s clearly a young chap with great passion, and even his direction isn’t all that bad, but he should take some time out and dedicate himself to improving virtually everything about his art. “Down” has a lovely mid-tempo beat, sounding incredibly crisp, but it’s is almost entirely ruined by Horizon and his lyrics/rapping/singing. It’s a real shame, because he’s trying to do something different here, weaving a worthy morality tale. Displaying that ambition is laudable, but he’s just nowhere near the level required yet, and he’d honestly be better off just (quite literally) saving his money, and building up a collection of great songs whilst focussing on his multiple weak areas. How this one slipped through the net, we shall never know, but it’s a memorable lesson: just because you have good intentions, that doesn’t automatically make your song any good.