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Bastiaan
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Posts : 140
Join date : 2009-08-17
Age : 27
Location : Netherlands

PostSubject: Album Discussion   Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:45 pm

In this thread you can review a (new) album, make us aware of it and give your opinions about it.

The album I will discuss now is Joss Stone - Colour Me Free

After some problems with EMI causing the album to cancel it's initial release date in April, the album is finally here. Internationally it will be released Oct 30th or Nov 2nd, but it is available at Target in the US now, and available via iTunes Store.
So, after a first album of soul covers at age 15/16 in Soul Sessions, a more poppy album in Mind, Body & Soul and an album that was more 'Joss' in Introducing, this album is supposed to truly be Joss. Her first (two) albums made her name, Introduction for me was the worst of the previous three, since her vocals were plain bad compared to before and her songs weren't that much better than before for me. Take a great voice off nice songs and but an average voice on them, the album can never be more than just nice.

For this album, however, her voice is back, although it does not sound like on Mind, Body & Soul. It has matured, and sounds raw, but it sounds great, even amazing at times. So that's vocals: check.

On to the songs themselves. The lead single, 'Free Me', gave me hope that this album might be the first one with great songs. I hoped for an album of songs like that. Well, I was wrong. 'Free Me', as an earlier song (also on this album) 'Governmentalist', are somewhat funky. Most of the songs however, only seem to have a small funk feel. It has much more of a jazz/soul feel to it. Using saxophones on several songs, piano's and soulful guitars on most. Overall 'Free Me' and 'Governmentalist' turned out to be among the least favourite songs for me personally. Overall the album has an awesome sound, it feels like one that suits Joss, the album that she wanted to make. It is also the album I hoped she would make. It seems Joss took the best of the best of the songs in the past and drew her influence from that to create a dozen songs that can compete with these amazing classics.
The last song, 'Girlfriend on Demand', although a great song, seems a little less good. It is more basic a ballad, and it follows 'Stalemate', a ballad that is one of my favourites of the album, due to the sound of it and the awesome melody (both verse and chorus), it features Jamie Hartman who sounds very good on it and sounds great together with Joss. Besides that, 'Girlfriend on Demand' at times reminded me of Kelly Clarkson, who might be better at singing it, due to the type of her voice. The song is still a very good song though, and although being a weak point to the album, it can definately not be seen as a downside. It would easily make the top of her other albums. Or any artist's album that can use this kind of song on them, for that matter.
'I Believe It To My Soul', if not the best song, it is definately top three. The vibe to it is amazing. Vocals are great, giving you chills at times. And then there is a 40 second sax solo that you just have to hear over and over again, giving you chills as well.
Overall, the songs are great. Some songs seem slightly stretched, by repeating the chorus one too many times. 4 & 20 is one such example. This reminds the listener he is listening to an album that is actually supposed to bring in some money, and therefore the songs can't be too short. It is forgiven, however, and it never annoys.

So, my verdict on this album: It is her best album yet. It seems to be the first album that is truly Joss, and it is noticable. The vocals are great 95% of the time. There are a few small parts of some songs where I feel perhaps her vocals could have been slightly better. But they never drop below the level of very good, so one can't really complain about it.
The songs are awesome, with an awesome sound. The weakest songs on this one would have been the strongest on her other albums. Some songs have been stretched slightly, but overall the songs are great. There isn't one song that seems like 'filling'. Don't mistake the lead single being the first track on the album for a sign otherwise.
One downside to the album is the cover. Apparently there are different covers for the US and international release. The US one is very very simple, almost ridiculous. The international one is better, but it could've used a lot more work. This probably won't be a cd that will stand out in the store, among the couple hundred other albums. This is a shame. Another shame is the seemingly lack of promotion for it, perhaps due to the problems between Joss and EMI. This could lead to quite a few people missing this album, which is a shame. Although I'm sure music lovers, who follow releases and reviews of artists that don't play football stadiums 10 days in a row to give all people a chance to see them, will surely hear something about this album. It is bound to get very positive reviews, but probably also negative ones from people who preferred her more poppy sound

All things considered, I'd rate this a 4.4/5 or about 8.8/10, making this her best album yet (since Id rate the others about 7.9, 8.2 and 7.2 resp.) and one of the very best albums in a long long time

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