Well who’da thunk it? Jessica Mauboy – r&b/pOp princess. But with this debut solo studio effort from the former Australian Idol star, we’re witnessing the continuing evolution of a talent who we reckon has just what it takes to make it both here and overseas. The great thing about this album is that neither the music nor Jessica’s vocals ever feel forced – it’s sweet, well produced and effortless r&b/pOp. The album opens with the first single ‘Running Back’ which has already provided Jess with a top five hit – it’s a perfect example of the high production qualities found right throughout the album’s 11 tracks. Title track ‘Been Waiting’ starts off with whispered Mariah-esque vocals over a thumping mid-tempo beat and a catchy-as-hell chorus, while second single ‘Burn’ ups the tempo even further with Jessica belting out a goodbye to a controlling boyfriend, “This love is over, so baby just let it burn”. Mid-tempo ‘Empty’ with it’s dramatic feel is Jessica’s ‘It’s Not But It’s Okay’ – “I’m sick of hearing from my friends that you’ve been lying, no reasons to stay, but to leave – yeah, I got plenty”. The album’s also musically diverse – there’s the stripped back balladry of ‘Because’, the stomping club-hit-in-waiting ‘To The Floor’ and the penultimate track ‘Up/Down’ sounds a little like Lene’s ‘It’s Your Duty’. The only thing we’d question about ‘Been Waiting’ is the inclusion of the Cyndi Lauper cover ‘Time After Time’ which we found unnecessary ’cause the rest of the material on the album is strong enough in it’s own right.
‘Been Waiting’ is a most pleasant surprise – with at least five hit singles, it’s high quality, well produced, desperately current in it’s sound – and all from a divine young performer who has the pOp world at her feet. Two words to close… Rihanna who?
Jessica Mauboy’s ‘Been Waiting’ is in the stores this weekend. Next single ‘Burn’ is in-store November 29.