Alexis Jordan is sort of a baby Beyonce with a twinge of Rihanna whose 2010 hit Happiness still sounds rather great. It cleverly worked a Deamau5 sample into a chilly, nicely produced dance pop single with a sharp uplifting vocal. Although her big label support from Sony/Jay Z (after a stint on America's Got Talent a few years earlier and some popular Youtube covers) only snagged her a dance hit in the US she built up a decent profile on charts in Europe include the UK / Irish charts where she managed a second semi-hit in Good Girl. Her self titled album was pretty solid too. Jordan has a great voice and her ongoing relationship with production geniuses Stargate has worked out really well for her (they've of course produced numerous Rihanna hits amongst others)
Now, Jordan has finally debuted some material ahead of her second album's release. Acid Rain is a clear attempt to recreate the magic of Happiness with a slightly harder feel. There's 2 verses from labelmate J.Cole (Which work much better than your standard rap feature on a pop single), production from Stargate again and Sia on co-writing duties (according to Idolator) and a more importantly another huge sample. This time it's the dutch-house hit Rattle from Bingo Players. A club hit in it's own right (and officially released with a new rap from Far East Movement as single here this week) it's the kind of tune that was begging for somebody to nab it for a hit single.
It's an interesting idea and it's obvious that Stargate want to use the sample to build up the tension around Jordan's towering vocals and the Titanium-y feel of the chorus and eventual rave-pop break at the song's core. It's thumpy, will surely eat up the dancefloors still not tired of the dance-pop deluge and she sounds great. BUT it does feel rather shoe-horned in, the obvious hook of Rattle feeling like a huge distraction on the verses.
Acid Rain should help Jordan make a return to the charts on this side of the pond but it falls short of the same magic that Happiness such a killer pop single. Still, having such a killer team in her corner suggests that Alexis Jordan could be aiming on a proper jump into the pop big leagues.
Cheers to We Are Pop Slags for bringing this to my attention today.