Jade Valerie – Out Of The Box

December 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Posted in Jade Valerie | Leave a comment
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  1. Tuned Up
  2. Just Another Day
  3. Show Me
  4. Uh Lala
  5. Crush
  6. Mr. Pay Me
  7. You Don’t Know Me
  8. Goodbye

After Addicted, Jade left Sweetbox for good but she didn’t leave alone. GEO, the talented producer of Sweetbox left with her to start a new musical project under her name. The title is a play on words as it references their departure from Sweetbox and it is also an indication of the music. Out Of The Box contains songs that are completely new for Jade and GEO. This mini-album has a very fresh sound and is heavily influenced by modern music which makes this their most mainstream album.

I was quite surprised when I first heard Tuned Up and I had only just started becoming a huge fan of her music so I can’t even imagine how her older fans might have reacted hearing a rodeo influenced track coming from Jade. This track has a strong western vibe with its snapping beats, horns and groovy guitar. The song begins with a woman shouting “come in” which leads to the frantic chorus, “tell your mama that you’ll be late/then turn your cell phone off/let’s get tuned up.” Jade’s vocals are energetic and she sounds great with this style of music. The verses are spoken more than sung and I love the first verse where Jade lists things she’s tired of, “I’m tired of supermodels/I’m tired of bad pop idols.” Her belting during the “say hey” parts is awesome and transitions into the chorus perfectly. This definitely lives up to the album’s title and is a nice surprise to start the album with. Just Another Day is a relaxing guitar driven mid-tempo. It has a nice flow and Jade sings the verses quite fast with soothing vocals. The rhyming repetition in the verses is catchy but the chorus is where this song shines. Jade sings a bit stronger than she does in the verses and she’s accompanied by a male vocalist whose voice blends well with Jade’s voice, “just another day/just another day/another name I’ll say/not over, but it’s over anyway.” There’s random yelping throughout the song but it doesn’t really detract from the song and sometimes I don’t even notice it’s there.

The album moves into a club orientated sound with the next track, Show Me. This song is darker than the previous two and has hard and heavy hitting synths and beats. The fast-paced verses and singing from Jade are interesting and I love how creative the lyrics are, “on off, you got me on a cross/crucified like a martyr, I’m a stone that you toss/feeling used up, never be enough/trying to decide if it’s hate or love.” The synths in the chorus are gritty and Jade’s vocals have a forced quality to them. The final chorus is even better with the added backing vocals which sound so emotional and intense, “where it hurts you/where it feels you/where it moves you.” Uh Lala is a ferocious club banger and it’s one of Jade’s hottest songs. It has a great mainstream feel to it and her aggressive in-your-face vocals are the selling point of this track. Jade sings with a confident and attitude filled voice that oozes sexiness. On this track, Jade disses a player and she hasn’t sounded this aggressive since her early Sweetbox days, “same shit, yeah it’s just a different day/he wants the goods, but he doesn’t wanna pay/thinks a girl is lucky to be laid,” and the beat is sick with its slutty synths and hard drums. The chorus is ridiculously catchy with Jade’s sexy and delicious “uh lalalas” and her vocals are so energetic. Jade is on fire in the bridge and she has never sounded this sexy, “can you read my lips/can you handle this/can you touch my hips/you’re not ready for this.” She sounds incredibly playful and cocky and I love every minute of it.

Jade and GEO may have left behind the Sweetbox name but they haven’t left behind the classical sampling and Crush samples In The Hall Of The Mountain King by Edvard Grieg. The sample is incredible and it’s turned into a blaring synth melody that is extremely infectious. Jade is a complete tease in the verses, “got me obsessed from your head to your tush/no need to tease, just give me the push,” with her playful vocals. The pre-chorus is insane with the repetition of “what ya doin’ to me” and Jade’s vocals are flirty, fun, and sexy making it my favourite part of the song. The chorus isn’t lyrically creative, “I’ve got an itty bitty teenie teenie crush on you/so stop your teasin’,” but it’s so damn catchy and her vocals are amazing and chock-full of great energy. The song finishes with the pre-chorus which is a perfect way to end the song. This is one of the best songs on the album and one of my favourite tracks. Mr. Pay Me is a dark and angst song with a gloomy piano. The percussion takes center stage for the verses where Jade sings in soft and hateful vocals. The first half of the verses are sung slowly whereas the second half features fast-paced singing, “recklessy abandoned but addicted to your venom/shoving down your shit like meals/never asking ‘hey what’s in it?” Jade’s delivery on this track is perfection because she sounds broken down which matches the gruesome lyrics, “I helped you clean the knife that you stabbed me with/ripped me into shreds then made me pick up all the pieces/turned my life to toxic waste and then you made me eat it.” I love the tone of her voice in the bridge, where she becomes more aggressive, singing angrily and powerfully. The chorus is fairly catchy and Jade’s vocals are on-point but the song really shines during its angst verses.

You Don’t Know Me sticks out on the album because of its bubbly and cute melody. I love the bright arrangement and Jade’s vocals are very vibrant compared to the previous songs. The synth comes in during the chorus, which is quite repetitive, but it’s fresh and Jade sounds really cute. The breakdown after the second chorus is marvelous. The synths sound surreal, euphoric and they eventually burst back to the cheerful melody. This song provides a nice change of pace for the album and it’s definitely grown on me. Goodbye is the gem of this album and it’s my favourite ballad by Jade. The song opens with drums, a xylophone and somber synths creating a light atmosphere. The verses are calm and her vocals are delicate while in the chorus she sings in a fuller voice that’s filled with sadness. For the second chorus the percussion becomes louder which gives the chorus a bit more edge. The bridge is incredible as the backing vocals kick in, “do we care?/do we really, really care?” and she sings in a stronger voice “I’ll never be a perfect angel/I’ll never know exactly what to say/I’ll never be God’s purity/I’ll fuck it up a thousand different ways.” One of the reasons why I love this song is because of the heart-wrenching lyrics, “if God is watching us/will he forgive me?/and let me forgive myself?/because maybe then I’d love ‘me’.” Jade’s vocals on this track are amazing and the emotion she puts into them are so believable.

Conclusion: Jade’s first solo release is a fun-filled album that showcases just how amazing of an artist she is. Some of the genres here are a first for Jade and GEO but they really worked their magic. There’s a drastic difference in this album compared to their Sweetbox material but it’s still very much them. Some fans dislike the album because of the difference but I love the fact that they’ve experimented with new sounds. It shows that they’re capable of doing a wide variety of music. They really went outside the box for this album and some of my all time favourite songs by them are on this album.

Recommended Tracks: Goodbye, Crush, Uh Lala and Show Me



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