Jessie J – Who You Are

While Jessie J’s star is rising here in the US, European audiences have already fully embraced this promising songstress. Maybe thats because in her home of the UK, she doesn’t have to water down her unique sound to the likes of disposable pop rubbish like Domino? Jessie has released many other unique and distinct tracks that fickle American audiences simply can’t seem to appreciate.
Recently, one of Jessie’s Brit-hits was brought to the US by being covered by Megan Hilty on the hit show, Smash. Megan brought her powerhouse vocals to the song Who You Are, the title track of Jessie’s debut album. After being exposed to the song, it was clear that my country had been missing out on a true gem.
Who You Are is a powerful pop ballad with a truly uplifting message. Jessie’s soulful powerhouse vocals are of full display as she belts out lyrics about the struggle we all go through to find our own identity. Her voice carries a conviction and tenderness that sell the song in way that many other pop balladeers simply can’t anymore. I simply get chills each time the chorus begins. Jessie is really reaching out to the listeners with her song, and each lyric is delivered in a way that pierces right to the heart.
While the track features the same pop/rnb beat that we’ve seen in numerous other pop songs, the instrumentation that accompanies said beat make the song dynamic and distinct. At its most tender moments, the song is a whisper accompanied by just an acoustic guitar. At its most raw and powerful moments, the song builds with a more powerful electric guitar, piano melody, and a string section that is simply gorgeous. It makes for one beautiful pop sound, which helps convey the beautiful message.
The music video is probably the best I’ve seen from Jessie. Rather than prance around in freakish costumes like every other pop singer, Jessie sits in a dimly light room, and croons into the camera. Its a simplistic video that carries the full force of the message. At the song’s climax, Jessie belts through the rain that continues to pour on her, which symbolizes the internal struggle she sings about. Its a touching video that shows us that less is more.
I doubt that US radio will ever embrace a track like Who You Are, and it is simply a shame. US audiences are the only ones missing out on this brilliant track, and Jessie’s amazing talent.
Final Score: 4/5

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