Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jason Derulo: Talk Dirty [Warner Bros., 2014]
If I promise I won't quote myself again for a year will you let me remind you that Derulo's specialty is "pragmatically carnal sex so mind-blowing that three times he proposes matrimony behind it"? I can't resist, because beyond how he was a songwriter before he was a songsinger, that's all I came in knowing about Derulo except the Ian Nieman "club mix" of "Ridin' Solo" I put on my singles list in 2010. (Whaddaya mean, who's he? That Ian Nieman.) The median number of songwriters on these 11 tracks is five, and almost every one of the 11 keeps the addictive promise of "Ridin' Solo." Balkan Beat Box funks up the booty-owning ingenue whose opening bid is a sweet "Jason! Hee-hee-hee!" Snoop confides to the next booty proprietor, "Damn, baby, you got a bright future behind you." Timbaland induces his assigned booty to pop like bubblegum. And the tush twerks on for 38 minutes. But it's Derulo whose ebullience convinces me that he's dealing confidence not arrogance, pleasure not power. And it's Derulo whose "I swear that I will mean it" seals the soaring "Marry Me," a proposal at least as sincere as Al Green's once was and probably more so. A