Over the course of her career, Jessi has had a chameleon-like persona as an artist. She’ll release a stark, emotional ballad only to follow it up with a hard hitting hip-hop track. Her larger than life personality has often overshadowed her versatility, but she’s also suffered from material that hasn’t always felt very original. For new single Down, she’s enlisted the help of mega-successful hip-hop producer Gray, delivering an island-themed slice of summertime pop that’s well suited to the season.
As usual, Down won’t win any awards for originality. In this age of tropical sounds, you can pretty much guess exactly how it will sound even before playing it. But Jessi’s undeniable charisma proves a strong match for the genre. The song allows her to display both her singing chops and the feisty attitude she’s become known for. Unsurprisingly, her husky voice is the star of the show, and the uncluttered instrumental knows this. It mostly stays out of the way, supporting her rather than becoming the focal point.
Unfortunately, Down’s familiarity gives it a throwaway quality. The song carries no unique stamp. If it weren’t for Jessi’s vocals, the track would be rendered indistinguishable from all the other tropical pop on the market. Its hook isn’t particularly engaging, and its instrumental drop feels like something we’ve heard a million times before. Down works fine as a backdrop to a party or barbecue, but ultimately fails to push past its chosen genre to deliver something as memorable as Jessi herself.