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Jason Derulo - 'In My Head'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:02 UK time, Saturday, 20 February 2010

Jason Derulo

The follow-up to a smash hit debut is often tricky. Do you provide more of the same, to consolidate your fanbase and establish your sound, or stretch out a bit, to encourage people who weren't bowled over the first time? The former is less risky, but could pigeon-hole you as a certain type of artist, and the latter could do nothing but ensure you the status of a one-hit wonder.

So, it's kind of admirable that Jason has not just stuck out another slow jam, or gone in search of another astonishing a capella sample, like the Imogen Heap one in 'Whatcha Say'. He could, for example, have nabbed a slice of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana - the X Factor 'dramatic montage' music - looped it, whacked in a couple of verses about a girl he has done wrong and some handclaps and bishbashbosh, another global hit.

As it is, moving on shows a certain amount of backbone, and backbone is all that separates us from the lobster and his kin.

(Here's the video. Yup, forget swanky clubs, ladies, the real place to meet that special someone is the car park outside a corner shop.)

This does not mean I was rooting for an all-new rock-ish direction. The rock is not something just anyone can do, as anyone who has seen the old, old footage of Take That playing Nirvana will attest. One thing the rock does not enjoy, for example, is being used as an exotic dressing on a pumped up pop jam. Especially if the elements which have been designated as the rock are clearly taken from a toy guitar with badly-spelled buttons which trigger such noises as 'widly-widly-jam', 'rock gitar cords' and 'backbaet'.

He does, however, get credit for writing a song which basically admits the thing we've all been secretly thinking about those RnB songs about approaching a girl in a club and talking her into bed - it's all a fantasy. Jason is basically a one-man Lynx advert, where the version of reality he would most like to see happen is straight out of a 14-year-old boy's ideal of what girls are really like.

The difference is, as a grown man, he can admit that it's all just made up. He's not really a teacher in the art of love, he's a singer. And if he was, would he REALLY suggest that skipping foreplay was a good idea? He would not. What he's done here is capture a young man's internal monologue, and put it into a song, so that actual real young men in a club can sidle up to girls they fancy and mouth the words. And the girls can slap them in the face, OR wait until Ke$ha comes on and get them back.

Who says music can't bring people together?

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: February 22nd
www.jasonderulo.com
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

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