There's always something a little bit suspect about artists who choose to release 'self-titled debuts'. And any 20-year-old who sings their own name at the start of half the songs on an album is inexplicably stuck in the early noughties - or suffering from amnesia - and needs a new approach.
Jason Derulo is clearly talented, but he's fallen into the trap of too much production, and not enough voice.
From the few tracks that don't feature synthesised vocals - What If, the emotionally honest Blind - it's clear that voice is strong and smooth. Derulo's producers have chosen use a vocoder on the majority of songs (they clearly missed Jay-Z's memo), is sort of like adding sugar syrup to honey - the result might be even smoother, but it's overkill.
The album opens with first single Whatcha Say, which samples Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek. It's a ridiculously catchy number which deserved to do as well on the charts as it did. It's followed by the irritatingly nasal Ridin' Solo which is almost enough to make you switch off.
But there are a couple more tracks that keep this from utter disaster. The 90s-influenced guitar-led Fallen, and dance-floor-filler Love Hangover are just about enough to make up for the many shortcomings.
YP rating: 2/5