The Bottom Line
Jason Derulo has clearly struck a chord with connoiseurs of pop singles. His first two songs "Whatcha Say" and "In My Head" have both hit the top 10 and been certified platinum for sales. However, those who buy albums are less impressed. The self-titled collection failed to reach the top 10 and thus far is not even certified gold for sales. Perhaps this is because Jason Derulo is best in small doses. Unfortunately on "Ridin' Solo" some of the most annoying aspects of his sound are put front and center making the song ultimately difficult to hear again and again.
- Catchy chorus and melody line
- Moments when the production lays bare Jason Derulo's voice
- Too much electronic alteration of vocals
- Annoying edge to the vocals on the chorus
- Written by Jason Derulo, Jonathan Rotem, and Xavier Thomas
- Produced by J.R. Rotem
- Released April 2010 by Warner Brothers
Guide Review - Jason Derulo - "Ridin' Solo"
When Jason Derulo simply sings, it can be very pleasant. Listen to much of "In My Head" with his voice free of auto-tune enhancements. However, the more distorted the vocals are the more frustrating and ultimately grating they are to listen to. The electronic buzz of the Imogen Heap sample on "Whatcha Say" was truly inspired, but too much electronic alteration is too much. Here the joy and freedom of "ridin' solo" in the lyrics is buried in a studio technology experiment.
"Ridin' Solo" has a truly catchy melody which will make the song stick in your mind whether you want it to or not. Unfortunately, the arch edge in the chorus vocal will stick there as well. Clearly, there is a solid pop song here, but it is hidden by the production. Jason Derulo's vocal talents deserve better.
Jason Derulo has helped usher in a new crop of male solo performers after recent dominance of mainstream pop music by female performers. As "Ridin' Solo" heads toward the top 10, he clearly has the attention of pop music fans and radio programmers. However, when he heads back to the studio, it is time to set the voice more free in the studio and let it deliver songs in a less encumbered fashion.