[Review] Jason Derulo’s “Future History”

Jason Derulo never had me at hello. I just didn’t get into the “Whatcha Say” phase and you can blame it on the auto tune. And don’t think I’ll adjust myself to warming up to it anytime soon. So, what are my views on his sophomore effort? There are definitely some mixed feelings. “Future History has songs I could get in to but then there are some that are ineffective and forgettable. The album sounds rushed and passionless. Jason should’ve either spent more time working on better tracks with stronger substances, or find some other credible songwriters to work with cause with a few exception (and I do mean few), everything else sounds like a bunch of empty barrels. With that said, let’s get down to business.

Don’t Wanna Go Home” is an energetic opener, and thankfully it’s not the driving force behind a majority songs on the record cause that would suck big time.  It’s great that he wanted a party track but by the end I was utterly annoyed. The europop style has been dominating pop culture for a while now and I’m completely over it. When am I going to start hearing some real and original music again? I mean, everything out now sounds awfully puked up. It’s like people are supposed to keep dancing like life is one big club scene. Seriously, can this europop trend just go already? The pros about “Don’t Wanna Go Home” is that he sampled classic hits, and it makes you wanna have fun. Other than that, the song will not be making its way unto my playlist of favorites. Also, haven’t you gotten sick of him calling out his name in every song?

It Girl” was a pleasant sound for my ears. I loved the song the moment I heard it and after listening to the entire album, this track automatically became one of my favorites. It’s definitely more romantic and subtle; providing a soothing atmosphere, but more like calming our nerves before the next track kicks in. The song’s about finally finding your one true love. The person you can call your soulmate. It’s one of the more passionate tracks on the album, and this is absolutely not located within the next. 

Breathing” is like poison in the veins. The first thought that came to my mind was “what rubbish is this?”I absolutely detest the sequence of echoes heard throughout the entire track. And hearing him scream profusely with vocal alterations was just a turn off. Clearly I needed a second listen to try and make at least the smallest form of connection with this song, and in some way I kinda got into it. The words seem meaningless because it lacks depth and emotion, but if you need something to get you on your feet this is the track to listen. The song’s about missing someone in the most heart wrenching way ever, but unfortunately, Jason failed to deliver the pain and suffering that the lyrics intended to depict.

I love the piano melody from start to finish, and fell even more in love with dramatic strings. “Be Careful” is a beautifully arranged song and it accomplishes what I’ve been looking for since “It Girl”, feeling. Jason sings as if he believes what he’s singing about. The song’s about karma in a sense; being cautious about how you treat people’s feelings. It seems that Jason has gotten himself in a situation where he made a girl fall in love with him but he doesn’t really reciprocate the feelings. Now it’s gotten to a point where he has to deal with the circumstances. At least, that’s my interpretation of it. “Be Careful” is the second to make it unto my favorite list so far.

Make It Up As We Go” has a hot beat but the lyrics are just lame. It sounds so pointless and tasteless. How can an artist write his own songs yet show no feeling in the singing? I mean, they’re your words and you’re the one more than anyone else who can bring those words to life. 

The sound effects highlight the fact that “Fight For You” is a RedOne production. It’s also another track symbolizing his technique of sampling hit songs. The beat sounds like a renewed version of Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro”, which was obviously inspired by Ace of Base’s “Don’t Turn Around.” Where am I going with this? There’s nothing original. Anyways, back to the topic at hand. “Fight for You” is about going to the extreme for the one you love. Jason is willing to do anything and go anywhere for his lover. It’s similar to the original song “Africa”, but at least Toto was more persuasive.

How many times does he have to declare himself on an album? I’m sure by now we all know its JASON DERULO. I mean it is the 7th track already. “Pick up the Pieces” had me going with the pounding heartbeat and spoken words about love being fragile, then the song picked up the intensity and I immediately liked it. Its official, JR produces the best songs. The track’s about building back a broken relationship; letting go of the past and letting love back in. I liked the smashing glasses effect in the end, and the fact that he made me listen attentively to the entire song without zoning out. 

Givin’ Up” continues where “It Girl” left us. The song captures the same meaning entirely, finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Jason sings about the different things that he loves and appreciates about his girl. It’s a very intimate number and I enjoy these kinds of songs from the singer. I also like how catchy this track is. 

Bleed Out” lets us know Jason loves hard. It gives the male perspective of heartbreak. There’s so much emotion in his singing that I really get lost in the words. I’m listening to the story of how a man gives his whole heart in the relationship but not receive love in return. I like how the producer fused rock and pop elements together. The song’s arranged precisely and you can truly hear the efforts. 

That’s My Shhhsounds like a song rejected by The-Dream, and obviously that’s because he wrote and produced it. Regardless, I like the over-emphasized, oversexed meaning of the track. There’s a ton of sensuality portrayed in Jason’s vocal tone, which is good. This song is sexy and tasteful. Towards the end of the record I’m beginning to hear more realness and it’s a shame that wasn’t showcased from the start. What I love about a Dream production is his signature style of mixing rock with r&b. The guitar intensifies the heat, and by the end of the song Jason sounds as if he’s right before my eyes singing passionately to me. That’s how deep this track is.

Just when I thought there was no more space to fill another europop influenced track, here comes “X.” Surprisingly, I’m not disappointed. The beat is actually much more tolerable than the opening track and “Breathing”. And the words make much more sense to me. The song’s about still having strong feelings for your previous lover. It’s very relatable as everyone can attest to being in love with their ex at some point in time before either going back to them or ridding themselves of the drama.  

I’m a rock lover and the guitar melody caught me off guard in “Dumb.” When this track opened up, I literally felt electricity running through my body. Jason’s singing gave me chills. The song’s about investing so much of yourself into a relationship that was pointless. He was evidently giving all his love away to someone undeserving. It’s obviously a foolish mistake to continue trying to convince ourselves that the one we love will one day look our way, but that will never happen. The music picks up towards the end of the song, bringing in the drums and a soft and mesmerizing piano melody that blends amazingly well with the guitar. This is definitely topping my favorites list for the album. It’s the perfect way to conclude the album, but sadly, it’s not a happy ending it seems.

Overall, Jason had me up and down with this one. I haven’t finished listening to his debut album so I can’t say “Future History” is better. What I will say is that he needs to work on his delivery; performing with more feeling and do better in trying to convince listeners (or maybe it’s just me) that he means what he’s singing. Like I’ve mentioned before, I like a few of the tracks and I can count the ones I like on one hand. Unfortunately, there were more crappy tracks on the album, in my opinion. “Future History” gets a rating of 4.4/5

Track listing:

01. Don’t Wanna Go Home
02. It Girl
03. Breathing
04. Be Careful
05. Make It Up As We Go
06. Fight For You
07. Pick Up The Pieces
08. Givin’ Up
09. Bleed Out 
10. That’s My Shhh
11. X
12. Dumb

(Purchase this album on iTunes)

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