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[Album & MV Review] Jessica - 'With Love, J'

By eric_r_wirsing   Monday, May 30, 2016   34,665   7,739   115



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Track List:

1. Fly (Feat. Fabolous)
2. Big Mini World
3. Falling Crazy In Love
4. Love Me The Same
5. Golden Sky
6. Dear Diary

Regardless of whose story you believe, one fact remains: Jessica Jung is no longer a member of Girls' Generation. Not one to remain idle, she stepped back from music and focused on launching her fashion brand. Less than two years after the incident that rocked the K-pop world, she's back -- 'With Love, J.' The EP consists of six songs, most of which she co-wrote. There's also an English-language version of this album as well.

The title track is "Fly," a mid-tempo pop tune, and Jessica's voice sounds gorgeous here. I honestly thinks she sounds a lot like BoA on the track. I like how majestic it all sounds, with a galloping beat and expansive synths. Fabolous' part is pretty well done too. Thankfully, they didn't insert any additional hip hop elements, and that's why the whole thing works.

Jessica's trademark soprano is never more evident than on "Big Mini World," a fluffy pop number on the album. And her voice never leaves that register, but is always in control. My particular favorites come along later on... "Dear Diary" is a sweetly sung, fluffy piece with a bit of a smooth jazz influence that is perfect to relax to, and "Golden Sky" is exactly what I mean when I talk about ballads being done right -- simple, elegant, a song to lose yourself in. Many of the tracks on this album are straight-ahead pop songs, light, airy and midtempo.

The problem I have with this album is it's a bit too serious. "Fly," while it has a good beat, is too restrained. It's a good jam, but it's not anything particularly amazing. And that's the problem with the rest of the songs. They're safe. There's no attempt at a real hardcore club banger, nor are there playful songs where she can take a step back and laugh. While a return to the music business is no joking matter, I think it would have been a bit better to have more of her personality come through.


And again we have another video that's more symbolic than literal. There's a story arc where Jessica gets a postcard showing a mountain. She orders some winter clothing, apparently intending to go. Sooner than later, she's dancing in front of a climbing wall fashion to look like a mountain. At the end there's a snow globe containing an image of the mountain on the postcard. But we're treated to other images that indicate freedom.

The video is certainly engaging, I can't lie. I wasn't bored watching it, largely because I wanted to know what was around the corner. There were images and ideas that seemed half-explored at first until you saw the progression later in the video. And some of the images were inspiring, like Jessica striding along, wheeling a suitcase behind her.

I enjoy videos like this -- while it's difficult to describe exactly what's going on, it's fun to figure it out. This one, I think, had to do with exactly what the song is about: being free and doing things your own way. Which I think is largely the point of the comeback, not how well she did it, but the fact that she did at all. To be honest, I'm just glad she's back.


MV Relevance..........9
MV Production.........8
MV Concept.............8
Album Production...7
Album Concept........8


SEE ALSO: Jessica says she cried a lot in her 20s

  1. Jessica
  2. with love j

uncchristine99 Thursday, June 2, 2016

Great to see Jessica back... my favorite songs are Fly and Golden Sky.  She was definitely my favorite in SNSD but even if she wasn't yours or you don't even care about SNSD, you were probably curious to check out her solo debut.  I think it's fine that she played it safe to test the waters of how people would receive her.  She's already been quoted saying the next album will be following up soon so next time, I'd like to see something more mature and edgier.  She's been the "ice queen" or whatever for so long--she was quite a perfect doll in her last few years with SNSD that I think it'd be a great solo move to completely go the other way--break out of those dolly dresses, the perfect hair, and perfect makeup.  She's got the maturity to do it...I think she would generate a lot of buzz if she showed her vulnerable side--messy makeup, messy hair, get angry, get upset, get frustrated, shed some tears... and ultimately take control of the situation, empower yourself, grow up, pick yourself up, love yourself first... which are all things she's done in the past year and half.  As a fan, I would personally loooooooove to see her do this and stick it to SM!

team_kris Tuesday, May 31, 2016

For the JJ fans who actually bought the EP, here is a quote dedicated to you from the Enlightenment thinker Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities.”

GottaHateMe (Banned) Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Rats is better

cutieYuuko (Banned) Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This comment has been removed due to violation of our TOS. (Reason: spammer)

BigBlueagain  cutieYuuko (Banned) Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Where have you been? She already did.

kisa_sohma (Banned)  cutieYuuko (Banned) Tuesday, May 31, 2016

She will, once SNSD antis get sick of her.

kalniac Tuesday, May 31, 2016

LOL!!! seriously Eric, go to sleep

cutieYuuko (Banned) Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This comment has been removed due to violation of our TOS. (Reason: spammer)

lanterngirl  cutieYuuko (Banned) Tuesday, May 31, 2016

dude if you're gonna bash, at least make some fucking sense

cutieYuuko (Banned) Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This comment has been removed due to violation of our TOS. (Reason: spammer)

ajshawol1990 Monday, May 30, 2016

I liked the lyrics of "Fly" very much. But I think her music video could have used a more composed and grown up concept.

SHINeeSLAYhaterS Monday, May 30, 2016

1) this album rating is just as bullshitty as taemin's album rating and this site really lost its credibility for me when they gave the "cell phone quaility grainy mv" with the disgusting pink tight bodysuits a 8.7 but gave taemin's album a 8.3 and now jessicas album a 7.8. kiss my ass.2) i think people need to remember that competion makes sales. its that simple. so for all the people who are conSTANTLY getting all butthurt when other people bring up tiffany or taeyeon in this article really need to chill it down because this is how word gets around. people hear about jessica doing a song, theyre gonna say in their heads "i wonder if its better than tiff or taeyeon". they go and watch and they judge and they have a right to express if they liked it or hated it. because they put in that time to watch the video, the views go up and the views go up the more regonition that artist will get. so just stop being so negative whenever someone brings up another artist guys seriously. i get the logic behind the "this is jessica's artitle it should only be about jess" but like it or not jessica has too much of a history in kpop for people NOT to judge and compare. it would be offensive if people didnt and just steady complimented her. how would she know how to improve and on here how would people feel if they couldnt share their innocent opinions. not just with jess and the girls but also in general. the music world is a competion. if youre not being talked about or compared, youre not making sales.

renyrells Monday, May 30, 2016

i might have either rounded it to an 8 or a 7.5 all but the last two songs(and the english ver) are good.

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