With his release of "Departure" last May, Jesse McCartney struck hard, establishing himself at the forefront of a new pop/R&B hybrid. Yet even as the album has seen great success and reaped a platinum single with “Leavin’,” Jesse knew he had more to say musically. Re-entering the studio late last year, he recorded several new songs, each too good to languish until the next album. He asked, "Why wait?," then answered his own question with "Departure: Recharged," that includes the songs from his 2008 Hollywood Records CD in addition to four new tracks and a hot remix of "How Do You Sleep" featuring Ludacris. "I wanted songs that were moving towards what the next album might possibly sound like," says Jesse. "Out came these tracks. I loved them and thought people should hear them.”
"Departure: Recharged" still opens with "Leavin’," the two-million-selling 1 smash hit. But it ends with four brand new tracks, including the deliriously infectious new single, "Body Language," a song Jesse co-wrote (produced and recorded by The Movement) and calls “an epic summertime track.” Other new tracks include "Oxygen", (produced by Eric Hudson for Just E. Production Group) a beautiful ballad Jesse co-wrote during the initial "Departure" sessions. Adding this to “Departure: Recharged” is Jesse’s “chance to have everyone hear it." He also co-wrote "Crash and Burn" (produced by Brian Kennedy for Team BK) features an uptempo beat with more subdued vocals illustrating the tale of a doomed relationship, while the smoldering "In My Veins" compares love to a drug, pushing Jesse into uncharted lyrical territory. "It’s a bit more controversial," and it’s way more R&B than I’ve ever gone."
Teaming up with Ludacris was a dream come true for Jesse, who had loved the rapper’s music for years. "Ludacris is good friends with Sean Garrett,” says Jesse, referring to the co-writer/producer of the song. Sean played the song for him, and he loved it.” Not only did the two trade vocals on the remix, they also joined forces for a video of the song. As much as Jesse loves the newly added tracks,he always regarded "Departure" as "the most complete package in my music career." He says he chose the title because, "There have been departures in my career, in my personal life. I’ve learned a lot since doing my first couple of records. I think I’ve landed in the most comfortable place I’ve ever been musically as the style of music, my vocals and the lyrical content of the songs on this album." With hit making writers and producers such as Sean Garrett (Usher, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Pussycat Dolls), Tricky & The-Dream (Rihanna, Mariah Carey), J.R. Rotem (Britney Spears, 50 Cent, Rihanna) and The Clutch (Omarion, Timbaland, Ciara, Bobby Valentino), "Departure" has an edgier pop/urban sound than "Beautiful Soul" and Jesse’s sophomore album, 2006’s "Right Where You Want Me". The album’s first hit single, "Leavin" (produced by Tricky and The Dream) went on to see enormous success was the 1 most played Top 40 single officially released in 2008 with over 200,000 total spins.“Leavin” spent 5 weeks at 1 on the HR Top 40 Chart and went gold and platinum with over 2 million digital downloads on iTunes.
The motivation for the track "My Baby" (produced by J.R. Rotem) comes directly from one of real relationship: "I wrote that about the ‘puppy love’ stage I went through when I first got together with an ex-girlfriend. Wherever we went, whatever we did, all eyes were on her – she was that girl! It was cool, I didn’t worry about it because I knew at the end of the evening, she was mine."As co-writer of many of the songs, Jesse chose to share personal experiences. A prime example, "It’s Over" which Jesse says "represents the reality when you know a relationship is not going to continue." On a different tip, "Into Ya" is, says Jesse, "a sexy, intimate, sensual, romantic kind of song," while the funky "Freaky" (produced by Madd Scientist) is a dance flavored uptempo cut that’s "about whatever you think it’s about" (says Jesse). "Rock You" which features a performance by Sean Garrett, a cut that Jesse says was "a stretch for me. I heard the track and I was like, ‘That’s fire!’ I can’t wait to perform it live. Produced by New York-producer Eric Hudson, "Told You So" is a mid-tempo track that Jesse says is "more about situations that my friends have told me they’ve been in after a relationship is over. Same thing with ‘Runnin’,’ which is something guys go through sometimes when a girl tries to push a relationship to the next level. Guys get scared of getting our hearts broken."With songs like the infectious "Make Up," produced by Kwame; the upbeat "Relapse," the story of a man hooked by a ‘hard-to-get’ woman (based, Jesse says, "on a personal experience when I was young and naïve"); and the beautiful ballad, "Not Your Enemy," a big production track that demonstrates Jesse’s vocal power and strength, "Departure" reveals Jesse has arrived with new confidence and maturity. Over the years Jesse has racked up a number of awards and nominations, including an American Music Award nod for "Best New Artist", an MTV Award nomination for "Best Pop Video" and four Teen Choice Awards, including wins in the "Choice Male Artist" category twice,"Breakout Artist" and "Crossover Artist." While establishing himself as a songwriter is certainly in Jesse’s game plan, his current focus is the new album. "I spent over a year on ‘Departure’ and I’m thrilled with how it turned out," says Jesse. how it turned out," says Jesse. "‘Departure’ represents a new start for me, a new sound. It seals the deal for me."