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Joss Stone – Colour Me Free

2009-12-21 10:13
Colour Me Free
Every aging rock or soul legend was dead keen to get into her pants work with her. She must have collaborated with just about everyone in the music business at some point. It was actually starting to look like the record industry had passed a by-law that stated no CD could be released unless Joss Stone guested on it somewhere.

She must be special.

So what does the beautiful British singing babe have to say, apart from the obvious ("Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh yeah")? Well the buzz goes that she’s pissed off with her parents record company and would like them to let her be free, like, herself. So she’s got herself locked in a cage on the cover, with her body parts labelled like the head parts in a phrenology (that's the "science" of head-measuring) diagram. Coy CD sleeve photos mock her own PR, showing her caught in the act of smoking, and lying playing seductive peek-a-boo on a single bed while hugging a small fluffy poodle named Dusty.

It's all meant to be a big F-you to the game and to EMI. Or is that giving her far too much credit? Is this really just another makeover designed to make a bang in the world of showbiz publicity? Isn't it all sounding a bit too familiar for words? You know, like Introducing Joss Stone – the real Joss Stone. This time. Again.

And then, there's the music, of course. It's big and jazzy and Joss wrote all but two of the tracks. Most songs are solid back-to-basics soul, but none of them are very memorable, except, unfortunately, the 13.44 minute finale, "Mr Wankerman". This eminently deleteable bit of musical masturbation would have ruined the record in the days before iPods and skip buttons allowed listeners to rescue musicians from vanity with a tap of the finger.

Free? Musically Joss is not really breaking any moulds – she sticks to her jazzy roots, shows off her vocal prowess. The result is impressive… without being all that good.

The official phrenology diagram, with a few blank spots. Does Joss Stone need her head read?

Remember when Joss Stone was impossible to avoid? She was all over the place, with all that "can you believe she's only 16?" and “You’d never know she was a white chick!" spin.

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