Esmee Denters: Outta Here
Esmee Denters: Outta Here
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By Alistair Potter.
Friday, 08, Jan 2010 04:24
Tennman/Interscope, out January 11th.
What's it all about?
Outta Here is the first album from Esmee Denters - more about her below - and the first from Justin Timberlake's new record label, Tennman. It offers a fairly light-hearted collection of R 'n' B tracks that showcase Denters' vocal talents, while allowing her still to draw on her heritage of imitating the genre's top artists. Whether this is worthy of an album of her own, or whether it should have remained confined to media sharing site YouTube, is for the listener to decide.
A total of 13 tracks are provided on Outta Here, including the title track which was previously a top ten hit for Denters on its release as a single. Admit It, her second single, was released on December 28th 2009 and opens the show on the album.
Outta Here's status as Timberlake's first own-brand album could overshadow its importance for Denters, as a large amount of the limelight is bound to be thrown on to Timberlake himself and the impact that Denters' success or lack thereof could have on his business prosperity; however, the fresh-faced look and sassy videos that accompany Denters' songs should be enough to gain her a place in the nation's subconscious, if she can secure enough airplay.
Who's it by?
Denters has probably achieved most people's dream - at the age of 17, the Dutch pancake house waitress began posting clips on YouTube of her singing her favourite songs in her own style - which was largely a part-impersonation of the original. Her rise to stardom followed, with later posts including guest appearances from the original artists including Natasha Bedingfield.
While Denters formerly took requests for different tracks across the genres, her own choices commonly came from the R 'n' B world - and it is into this genre that Outta Here falls. However, these are no longer covers, but are instead Denters' own tracks written in collaboration with Justin Timberlake as the first collection on his newly formed record label, Tennman.
Outta Here - the single that shares its name with this album - was her first single release and is probably the place most people are likely to know her from, other than those who have been following her progress on YouTube. Anyone who has been a fan since the early days of Denters' video clips is no doubt ravenous with excitement to hear this record.
As an example...
"Get me outta here 'cause my eyes are burning/From these silly tears that you brought when you showed me/You don't really care, when you never loved me/Someone get me outta this place right now." - Outta Here
What the others say
"One of the reasons I started my label was to be able to discover and mentor new talent and it's been a great experience guiding Esmee's development." - Justin Timberlake
"Sometimes I would come up with a title and he would suggest a melody, or I would come up with a melody and he'd suggest some lyrics. There were no rules." - Esmee Denters
So is it any good?
First of all, I am not going to pretend that R 'n' B is my genre of choice. I'm more of a cheesy pop man, personally. However, Denters' fresh face and clear vocals make a reasonable effort of bridging the gap between the two, making Outta Here a fairly inoffensive collection for anyone tempted to try R 'n' B but not too keen on stepping straight into 50 Cent or P Diddy.
That being said, I'd imagine the same argument could be seen as a negative thing by many R 'n' B fans, as Denters is likely to lack the impact that attracts many people to the genre in the first place. If we put aside concerns over whether she's R 'n' B or pop, though, we can think instead about just how good Denters really is. In all honesty, she's not bad; her voice gets a bit shrill at times, especially on the longer tracks, but she can hold a tune as well as you might imagine from someone discovered through online home movies.
Much of the criticism relates to her soundalike-ness and tendency to imitate other artists, but the same is true across the modern music world, so let's lay off her on that count. Overall, I'd say if you're looking for an inoffensive option this is likely to be satisfactory. If you're wanting all guns and bling and what-not, look elsewhere.