I’m not even embarrassed to say that I’m usually pretty excited for when Jason Derulo releases an album because he always delivers pure pop/RNB. Well that’s until this time around. “Everything Is 4” is a lackluster affair and compared to his previous three records you can’t help but feel majorly disappointed. It all began with the release of the cheesy pop single “Want To Want Me” which oozes with cool and a catchy guitar riff during the verse before exploding with a cringing bubblegum hook. Its performance on the charts is very mediocre compared to his other releases but it has slowly climbed up and comfortably sat in the top 10. It’s a song that grows on you quite like the rest of the album but not all the tracks are as likeable. Derulo has always given us some powerful RNB ballads and he’s attempted to do that again with “Love Like That” (Featuring K. Michelle) and “Trade Hearts” (Featuring Julia Michaels) but they just don’t have a heavy impact. They’re forgettable, boring and the female features aren’t captivating enough. He also attempts to give you dirty RNB songs that imitate the success of “Talk Dirty” or “Wiggle” and while “Get Ugly” is somewhat enjoyable, it’s the annoying “Pull-Up” that will make you want to throw something at your speakers. Out of the eleven tracks on the album five of them are collaborations. The most confusing one is “Broke” featuring Stevie Wonder and Keith Urban. This country tinged RNB track is ambitious and the risk he took has paid off. The song is unusual but that’s what makes it work so damn well. There’s no other song out at the moment that sounds anything like it or has the star power behind it to drive you to want to listen to it. “I’m still gonna get stoned so you could go ahead and break your bones. Cause all I’ve ever been told, Mo’ money mo’ problems so I’d rather be broke”. It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of Meghan Trainor but her feature on “Painkiller” is a clear album highlight. The song is catchy, fun and see’s their two voices perfectly meshing together for an epic pop duet that will no doubt top the charts at some point. For once Trainor’s voice doesn’t sound strained and shows a fun side to her that steps away from the 50’s sound she tries so hard to hold onto. I was so excited to hear Jennifer Lopez collaboration “Try Me” but I soon discovered it was fairly forgettable and that made me sad. New single “Cheynne” follows on with the same format as “Want You To Want Me”. The verses are on point, the first part of the hook left me so excited but it was the whining of the name “Cheynne” that ruined it in the second half of the hook. “Love Me Down” is the other pure RNB/pop track on the album which has a cool Pharrell vibe that will make you want to dance but it’s very gimmicky. The one song that made me really excited is the cheeky “X2CU” that explodes with a big disco influenced hook. This is all I really wanted from this album and it was frustrating that I had to get through ten songs until I heard it. His vocals have improved increasingly since his debut and have seen the annoying pronunciation of his name disappear but this album didn’t allow him to showcase a raw side of his vocals. After seeing him live and knowing the vocal ability he does have when he attempts a track acoustically it would be interesting to hear him release an acoustic RNB track.
“Everything Is 4” is Jason Derulo’s weakest album to date but there are a handful of songs that will suffice and keep you somewhat happy. Just don’t expect to hear the biggest song of 2015 on this album. #SorryBoutIt