My Own Way

by: Jay Sean

Jay Sean first broken onto the R&B scene in late 2004 with his debut album Me Against Myself although he had previously been the featured artist on a couple of tracks by the Rishi Rich Project. He had certainly smartened up his image since the cover shot of the debut. Gone were the jeans, hooded top and unshaven look, to be replaced by a smart suit -- conveying a more business-like approach -- although the one aspect that he retained was the snarling "don't mess with me" pose. He also retained much of the musical quality that unfortunately did not distinguish him and mark him out as special in an overcrowded market. He had been billed as one of the first major British Asians to cross over into the mainstream R&B market, but rather than play on any aspect of this, My Own Way was a slick, polished, highly produced R&B album in the style of Timbaland, Usher, R. Kelly, or dare one even say, Jay Sean had not moved on from the very beginning of the millennium and the style of Craig David, indeed on many of the tracks including the opening single release "Ride It," "All or Nothing," "Waiting," and the final track "Easy as 123," one can imagine fitting easily on David's Born to Do It album. But throughout My Own Way there was the same bump 'n grind beat associated with R. Kelly, Usher, and Timbaland, and the same lyrics about going to clubs, meeting girls and the problems that follow. Perhaps it was the production of J Remy and Duro who had worked with similar artists previously, but Jay Sean's individual identity struggled to come across and one fears that he will have to impose a little more of his own personality on the next project if there is to be any longevity in his career. ~ Sharon Mawer

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