Jason Derulo released Everything is 4 at exactly the right time. The album is packed with songs ready to be blasted while driving with the windows down, including its lead single, “Want To Want Me.” The entire 11-track album, in fact, only boats two mid-to-slow tempo tunes, making it ripe for being the album of the summer.

Everything is 4

Jason Derulo
Beluga Heights

“Want To Want Me” is the first track on the record, and it sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s followed by several more dance-ready, windows-down tracks. Track two, “Cheyenne,” is slightly slower tempoed, but the beat behind it keeps it going, and the chorus’ melody keeps you wanting more.

“Pull-Up,” a song about seeing a hot girl on the street and having to pull up next to her in a car, complete with the “screech” sound of braking tires, is about as stupid lyrically as it sounds, but, in typical Derulo fashion (let’s be serious, “Trumpets” barely even has lyrics), is still a song that makes you want to sing along because it’s somehow completely relatable.

If I could provide a suggestion for the second single off the album, it would hands down be track three, “Get Ugly” (my second choice would be “Pull-Up”). “Ugly” has the same kind of vibe as “Wiggle” — undoubtedly one of Derulo’s best and possibly most underrated compositions, but with more of a rap feel. As it’s mostly about getting crunk in a club, it’s perfect as drinking music at a club, and also not, and due to its infectious beat, it’s also a jam for those of us who actually use phrases like “getting crunk in a club.”

My only real complaint about this album (other than the cover only features Derulo’s face … like, um, Jason ily 4 ur abs dayum, son) is the order of the tracks. While the aforementioned tracks that introduce the album all feature Derulo alone, five of the seven remaining tracks contain other featured artists. These songs still match the feel of the rest of the album, but spacing out the feature tracks more would have made for a more cohesive experience.

“Love Like That,” “Painkiller,” “Broke” and “Try Me,” tracks five through eight, all feature different artists. “Broke” stars Stevie Wonder and Keith Urban along with Derulo, and is quite possible the only thing that really needs to be said in order to entice people to listen to it is that Stevie Wonder agreed to be featured on it.

However, the most surprising facet of Everything is 4 isn’t Wonder, but “Painkiller,” featuring Meghan Trainor, for two reasons. First, Trainor is the one who sings the (in)famous “Jason Derulo” at the beginning of the song, and, secondly, Trainor actually manages to sing a new melody.

“Try Me,” featuring Jennifer Lopez and Matawa, is probably the worst track on the album, although I have no doubt the song will be loved by J.Lo and J.De fans everywhere. (The feature, along with the Keith Urban feature, did make this “Idol” fan very happy, though.) While Derulo’s appeal normally lies in his ridiculous ability to hit any amount of notes in any given run, this song’s melody stays pretty constant and flat and doesn’t have the driving beat the other do.

Track 10 and the second out of two slow songs, “Trade Hearts,” is by far the deepest and best lyrically constructed, with Derulo and featured artist Julia Michaels pining after their broken relationship, wondering, “So, I wish I could trade hearts with you so I can feel the same way you do.” Michaels is one of the more interesting featured artists (besides Wonders), as her raspy but powerful voice both contrasts and meshes with Derulo’s at once, perfectly portraying two individuals who love each other but can’t be together.

“X2CU” smartly closes out Everything is 4, as it’s the best song. The five-minute bumper starts with a driving beat and Derulo’s signature runs and buttery voice singing about his new girl, who “started as a sexy rebound,” but now he just wants “my ex to see you.” The girl apparently feels the same way. This song is punny/layered on too many levels. Both Derulo and the girl are using each other at first — everyone knows that feeling of wanting to get with someone new before your ex — and “X2CU”/”ex to see you” could double as “(my) ecstasy, you.”

The song seems to abruptly cut off after the final chorus, but Derulo commands the song to “slow it down on them,” and “X2CU” transitions from revenge jam to angelic lullaby from your new boyfriend Jason Derulo.

Now, Everything is 4 isn’t perfect. A lot of the melodies seem trite and familiar the first time you hear them. Many songs grasp for meaning, like “Cheyenne,” which seems titled so just because, and “Broke,” which channels Biggie, saying more money bring more problems, so being broke is better. Like, sorry Jason, but I doubt you’d give up all your money thinking it would fix your problems.

But Derulo provides what he advertises: music that makes you want to dance, vocal gymnastics and beats that will make your car rattle as you turn up the volume in your car on the way to the beach, listening to what will perhaps be the biggest hit of the summer.

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