Jason Derulo’s sophomore album “Future History,” released September 27th, is an energy-filled yet occasionally somber and slow effort for the rising pop/R&B star. Derulo made his debut in 2010 with his self-titled album and has since been making waves in the pop and R&B music world, having been positively compared to the likes of Usher and Trey Songz. Derulo earns those comparisons, fueling his club-beats with an R&B voice reminiscent of Chris Brown, and dance moves similar to Usher. But Derulo also seems to carry a charisma all his own that makes him stand out in the genre.
While Derulo hasn’t necessarily reached the status that his influences have, he continues to release music that highlights his skills. He seems comfortable in what he’s doing now and while his lyrics aren’t thought-provoking, the album is a safe success because he stays within his comfort zone, reaching out to a loyal fan base with the music they loved in his first album. For now, his strategy has worked and he’s put together a solid album. But he’ll have to try new things if he wants to survive in this ever-competitive business. Somewhere down the line, people may get tired of his music if he does not bring something fresh and exciting to the table.
The album opens with the hit single “Don’t Wanna Go Home,” a song that represents the rest of the album well. It hits all the right notes that drew his fans to him in the first place with a rising dance-beat that hard not to enjoy and lyrics that embody a party anthem. For the last track, “Dumb,” Derulo slows it down considerably. “Dumb” and “Don’t Wanna Go Home,” represent the basic feelings the album gets across: Derulo is either energetic, ready to party or is on the opposite end of the spectrum, reminiscent about a lost love. It’s a smart tactic, Derulo opens on a catchy single to draw people in, and closes with a more somber sound to show his other side (“My love’s still here/ but you’re not there/ You broke my heart/ but you don’t care”). The album’s second track and single, “It Girl,” incorporates both of those elements, with a more serious theme than “Don’t Wanna Go Home” but is still pretty catchy.
The album is strong, kicking off with the two lead singles. From there, the songs start to sort of bleed together. A familiar synthetic sound electrifies the album. It’s a sound that’s become synonymous with artists like Derulo; a computer created sound that seems to attract a young crowd. Currently working, he’ll have to do something different in future efforts. For now, Derulo can live with the fact that he has a strong fan base and what will surely be a high-selling album. But it all sounds very boy-bandish. However, it’s not at all bad, and the album will find its way into plenty of people’s iTunes libraries. Derulo’s young and he only has time to mature as an artist.