CD: Jay Sean, My Own Way

(Two Point Nine)

On his 2004 debut album, Jay Sean seemed to be battling the preconceptions he felt would preclude his success. A British-Asian singer, rapper and producer, he craved acceptance based on merit, not cultural tokenism. This follow-up, though, finds Sean carefully retrenching: his singular sound and worldview have been reined in, subservient to the demands of the R&B marketplace. My Own Way is a decent record, but erroneously titled: the sheen given by the producers, J-Remy and Alan Sampson, to songs such as January's top 20 hit Ride It and the Billie Jean-esque Maybe strip away all that hard-won individuality. He has lost - not for ever, one hopes - the stuff that made him stand out.


Angus Batey

The GuardianTramp

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