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Music Reviews

MPAA Rating
Genre
R&B, Pop
Performance
Peaked at No. 3.
Record Label
Lava, Republic Records
RELEASED
July 29, 2014
Reviewer
Adam R. Holz
Jessie J

Jessie J

"Bang Bang"

I have to admit that my first thought when I saw Jessie J's new song "Bang Bang" debut in the Top 10 wasn't a particularly charitable one. Well, I thought, we already know what this song is about.

When I mentioned it to my editor, he at least momentarily gave the track the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it's about ... a gun going off and scaring the neighbors, he said. Or a car accident? A plumber fixing your sink? Bumping into your dresser in the middle of the night? A bass drum thumping out it's bombastic beat?

Nah.

On this high-energy, gospel-meets-R&B track, Jessie J is joined by the It Girl of the moment, Ariana Grande, as well as one of the music scene's most notorious bad girls, Nicki Minaj. They take turns offering thoughts on why prospective suitors should be interested in their respective abilities to "bang bang."

"She got a body like an hourglass," Jessie J begins, setting the sultry 'n' seductive stage. "But I can give it to you all the time," she promises. "She got a booty like a Cadillac/But I can send you into overdrive, oh." The message in a bottle? Nonstop sex will take a man's wandering eye off a girl's comely competition. Jessie instructs, "Stop and wait, wait for that, hold up, swing your bat," before teasing, "See anybody could be bad to you/You need a good girl to blow your mind, yeah."

The chorus only confirms my initial interpretation: "Bang bang into the room (I know you want it)/Bang bang all over you (I'll let you have it)/Wait a minute, let me take you there (ah)/Wait a minute, I'll tell you (ah)/Bang bang, there goes your heart (I know you want it)/Back back seat of my car (I'll let you have it)."

Ariana Grande, the former star of Nickelodeon's Sam & Cat, picks up the sensual thread from there. "She might've let you hold her hand in school," she coos, "But Ima show you how to graduate/No, I don't need to hear you talk the talk/Just come and show me what your mamma gave (ooh yeah)/See anybody could be good to you/You need a bad girl to blow your mind."

And speaking of bad girls, right on cue Nicki Minaj chimes in with a few lyrics I'd actually rather not repeat here since they pretty graphically evoke all sorts of even sleazier mental images, from male and female arousal to sexual domination.

The song's catchy, Max Martin-produced vibe—along with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj's high-profile contributions—practically guarantee this hit's going to spend months rattling around in fans' heads (and hearts). And what they'll keep banging into, so to speak, is a reckless, sensuality-drenched message in which three influential singers willingly reduce themselves to being nothing more than sex machines designed to be taken for a wild drive.

As far as what happens when they run out of gas, well, Jessie J and Co. don't spend even a single second considering the potentially life-changing consequences of their throw-caution-to-the-wind carnal escapades.

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