Revisiting Jesse McCartney’s “Beautiful Soul”

Admittedly, the title could go a number of ways, but for the sake of this post- his first solo album.
I wrote this yesterday and did the majority between 11-11:30pm- time I probably should have dedicated to sleep because I have to get up for work at 5:30am… but if I didn’t finish, I probably never would.

It’s been a while since Jesse McCartney came into my mind. I usually listen to him on April 9 his birthday but so much has happened lately that I hadn’t had the time. Let alone the head space for it. [Admittedly, again, there were things I was sad about and I actually preferred being sad than listening to Jesse whose music got me through some tough spots in the years I’d known him].
And considering all the people in music that have taken his place, he didn’t seem as important. Not exactly life changing and he only defined maybe a couple years before I moved on to other things and people.

Then I listened to his first album again and all those things I felt for him came back. I loved how his music appealed to plain Janes like me so we could believe we had a chance with him. Sometimes I half wonder if that was all a lie. All of the girls he’s been with in videos and otherwise are all like supermodels.
You could argue I’d be harsh on any girls he was dating, but I was especially hard on Katie Cassidy because she’s beautiful and blonde and she’s also an actress.

His album is great but I can also see how well it was manufactured to get girls excited for him. I know, I’ve gotten so old and jaded already [I don’t turn 30 until freaking July and I’m already getting “I feel old” vibes, lol].
The music selected for him [which is most likely the case] paints him as a guy who’s loyal and loves inner beauty.
So obviously the first two songs off this album are geared toward that vision. I know he co-wrote “She’s no you” (along with three other songs on the album) but didn’t know until now looking at the Wikipedia page that he dreamed it up on a caffeine buzz and that’s why it’s so fast. I didn’t even realize… I just knew I was thrown off so much about the pacing of his songs. Kinda hard to learn them when I can’t even keep up. But after putting in the work, I did get a hang of him.
“Beautiful Soul” is still his biggest hit (sadly the only song I’d heard of his make the radio, not counting Radio Disney- which I listened to exclusively from 2002-2005 because I still knew all the people on that station. plus, if I’d hear from Jesse, it’d be there). And I still believe he believes in its core message.

Get your shine on- he co-wrote and I still am not crazy about it. So cheesy maybe too throwback. Good music but everything else not really. Also hate all the ad libs he does in this. No reason. Some songs I wonder if they were written for him or he picked them out or did they already have them written and just had to figure who to give them too.

Without you- I forgot entirely and I know why. It opened the last concert of his I went to and the speaker system messed up his voice. Either that or he doesn’t sound good live. But he did at point pleasant. Great concert- I still will remember forever.

Why don’t you kiss her, I didn’t like for years. But just now listening to it- I see myself in it but the role is reversed. I have a guy that I wish I had been more forward with. Then we might still be together. I won’t say married cuz that’s getting ahead of myself.

That was then- another co-write- I know he is loyal but he seems like the type of guy id forgive if he made that mistake of taking me for granted. Assuming he is clean cut. No guarantee of that.

I wonder also if he knew that “come to me” was rewritten for him. A Christian boy band Plus One had their own version but it was about a relationship with God, both good versions but I know Jesse’s better. I’d like him to be that one guy who comforts me and assures me he would take care of me. Especially if someone else hurt me or dumped me or whatever the situation is.

What’s your name- my favorite of his co-writes- I love but the lyrics escaped me this time. And I hadn’t heard this album in ages and I still knew the other songs much better. Seriously how can that girl not know he’s alive? Crazy.

Because you live- still my favorite on the album. Beautifully written. And I think it got me through some tough moments. None I can remember but that’s probably best.

Then the album kinda goes downhill.

“Why is love so hard to find?”
More like: Why is this song on this album? I guess it’s another throwback number but it doesn’t fit him as an artist. Why is he singing this at age 16? Doesn’t make sense. Stupid cheesy lyrics, lazy songwriting. And the falsetto doesn’t even sound like him at some points.

“Stupid things” I think Robin Thicke co-wrote. [Scratch that- he wrote it by himself] Didn’t know who he was then and now… He just disappeared. It’s fine. Hate “blurred lines” with a passion. This song however- some lyrics don’t fit Jesse’s age (Interest rates? Really?) but I love the bluesy vibe of it. Some of it reminds me of Maroon 5’s music. Like “miles from the sun” or “better that we break”- must be the piano. Love his voice on it.

And finally the bonus “good life” track- I think with beautiful soul and sweet time and why don’t you kiss her, he did it at the concert I went to before the album came out. He did a bunch that were never released and I still wish he did. “Crowded Town” I still remember the story of him coming up with it and the performance overall.

I’m glad I got his EP because I’d miss “don’t you” so much (no relation to the breakfast club song).

Not all the music is Jesse and he had gotten so much better but I had a lot of fun with it. More than I thought I would. I guess I have been due to return to it for quite some time.
I’ll admit that I was kinda dreading picking the album back up because it feels like nothing compared to what he’s done since. Especially since he has more creative control of his music and it suits him more as an artist.
I had similar feelings going back to Taylor’s first album because it seems so amateurish compared to what she’s done since. yet I still found some great things to take away from it.

And yeah, there’s still nothing like hearing Jesse’s voice 😎
he’s always going to have a piece of my heart- if only a small piece

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