In early 2011, during a rehearsal for his Future History World Tour, Jason Derulo broke his neck. His lengthy recovery process allowed him to refocus with a new perspective -- one that provoked him to title his third album Tattoos as a metaphor for the permanent effect of certain life experiences. Tattoos isn't necessarily more serious than Jason Derulo and Future History, but it is a little heavier on songs regarding monogamy. Girlfriend Jordin Sparks duets with him on "Vertigo," a passionate piano ballad that has nothing to do with the inner ear, and that relationship likely informed the sentiments throughout "Marry Me" and the Top 20 hit "The Other Side." Even with the higher percentage of songs about devotion and settling down, plenty of space is left for content about short-term relationships, like the horny (in two ways) "Talk Dirty" ("Been around the world, don't speak the language, but your booty don't need explainin'"), the clumsy "Look at Me Now" rewrite "With the Lights On," and the inanely rampaging manchild EDM-pop of both "Fire" (featuring Pitbull) and "Side FX" (featuring the Game). Perhaps Derulo has grown as a person since his previous album, but it's hard to call this one a step forward. In the U.S., the album was stripped down to a digital-only five-track EP consisting of "The Other Side," "Talk Dirty," "Marry Me," "Tattoo," and "Vertigo."
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman