The Miscellaneous Genius of Jason Derulo

For an album with at least five potential hit singles, Jason Derulo’s Talk Dirty is staggeringly weird. Its cartoonishly raunchy titular song, for example, is structured around a klezmer alto sax line sampled from a band called Balkan Beat Box. Two tracks later is the ultra-sweet pop anthem “Trumpets,” which sounds like a Glee cover of itself, and which also maintains the album’s forceful but basically unintelligible sense of sex:

Is it weird that your ass
Remind me of a Kanye West song?

Is it weird that I hear
Trumpets when you’re turning me on?
Turning me on
Is it weird that your bra
Remind me of a Katy Perry song?

“Bubblegum” is just a straightforward butt song. “Kama Sutra” is an algorithmic tribute to penetration and commitment. “Zipper” is a song-length simile about intercourse that goes up and down and up and down until it finishes. “The Other Side” is a Katie Perry song, more or less, and a good one. Can you guess what it is that Jason Derulo wants to do “With the Lights On?”

Then there is the profoundly horny “Wiggle”, which is millimeters short of a novelty song.

It begins with a catcall sketch and then spins off in about three different directions:

The entire album is assembled from odd parts, some truly alien and some just reclaimed from unlikely places, and it’s wonderful. This song, however, might be the most disparate: There’s Snoop Dogg playing a sort of elder creep role with his wiggle wiggle line; there’s the pat-a-cake Instagram nursery rhyme; there’s even a Schwing! for effect (the first Wayne’s World sketch on SNL aired six months before Derulo was born). The hook is played on a toy flute purchased from Party City. But the weirdest part of this song isn’t so easy to notice—it gets lost in context. Skip to 2:30, or just click here.

Is that??? Wait:

Yes! Derulo is singing to the cello part in the Game of Thrones theme song. Up an octave, shuffled around, but it’s there. It takes a couple listens—these videos might help:

Or this one is better, actually:

I mean, sure, same scale, similar sound, whatever. But I don’t think that’s all! In this interview, he identifies Troy as his favorite movie, before muttering something about being “obsessed” with GoT. Then there are these messages from two years ago:

Haha, Jason Derulo, what is your deal? And how did it somehow result in the best album of the year so far? If you’re watching the GoT finale this weekend, listen up. And know that Jason Derulo, American music’s most quietly eclectic pop star, is probably watching too.