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Jay Sean My Own Way Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

You might begin to suspect that the reason some girls seem to keep leaving him is...

Paul Clarke 2008

From one angle Ride It – Jay Sean's comeback single from last year – saw the Hounslow-born artist in exactly the same place as he was when he broke through in 2003 with Dance With You: Talking about cruising the clubs and making eyes at the ladies. Yet from others he couldn’t be more different, for where Dance With You bumped along on producer Rishi Rich's Desi beats the only obvious Asian influences in Ride It are the Eastern-tinged strings in this smooth r 'n' b groove, whilst cocksure confidence in the lyrical chat-up lines has been replaced by words and delivery that seem more wavering and vulnerable. Indeed, on the evidence of new single Maybe and plenty of other tracks on his second album Jay hasn't spent the four years since his debut Me Against Myself LP fighting off the hordes of females he's charmed with his moves, but rather disconsolately checking his mobile and Facebook for messages from that 'special someone' after she's stood him up agai! n.

The truth is actually rather different of course, for Jay has been building up his fanbase in the UK and India, racking up platinum sales many times over. Not that this was enough for his former record label Relentless, who were apparently unhappy with his new album, My Own Way, now being released on Jay's own label. For if Relentless thought they'd bagged themselves the first UK Asian rap and r 'n' b crossover star with his debut album, the follow-up suggests he's actually transformed into the Asian Craig David instead.

Recorded in New York and London with producers J-Remy and Duro, My Own Way contains not a single nod towards hip-hop save for I Won't Tell, and instead finds Jay singing in a voice so syrupy you could make a cake with it. Individually there's nothing wrong with the songwriting of tracks like Stay, but when everything becomes stuck around the same midtempo bump 'n' grind rhythm whilst Jay warbles about his women woes you might begin to suspect that the reason some girls seem to keep leaving him is simply because he's become a little bit dull.

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