Stealing Love Jones - Bleed to Bloom

2009-02-20 09:09
 
Bleed to Bloom
 

It takes a businesswoman, and not a girl, to make these things happen and that is why Jones is seen as the complete article: voice, legs, and tons of nous. But in Bleed to Bloom, she has hit her ceiling, glass or not, and international stardom will have to wait.

The quality simply isn’t there. The catchy, driving pop-rock of “Hospital” could endear SLJ to hundreds, or thousands (with some luck) of pop fans in the near future, but it’s a lonely hit. Unless they hit the TV soundtrack big time (One Tree Hill, anyone?) ‘singles’ like “99” and “Losing You” lack the wow-factor to capture the public imagination.

Knowing what’s at stake, Bleed to Bloom tries to confront its audience with celebrity obsession (“Don’t Blame Britney”) and Esjay’s bisexuality (“Bi Curious”) but even then the effect is soporific. Melodies seem borrowed, lyrics too obvious, and we’re left wondering: “Where have I not heard this before?”.

Maybe these tracks start to sizzle when injected with SLJ’s live energy. Who knows? But at best, this album can be a stepping stone to their stepping stone to the big time.


What do Stealing Love Jones and The Smashing Pumpkins have in common? Producer Bjorn Thorsrud, who made time between highly-paid commissions with the rock ‘n roll in-crowd to cut an album with Esjay Jones and her band from Durban.

What to read next: Kalahari

Caroline 2009/01/12 10:15 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Valid review. Well phrased. I couldn't agree more.
Billy 2009/01/13 1:07 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Yup. Major disappointment on the promise of the first album.
Ryan 2009/01/14 3:22 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Live energy?! Good to see an honest review, too often the media hypes a band that lacks an originality, style and longevity with the public follow without listening themselves. Maybe some bands should just cut their loses and pursue other things.
Jolen 2009/01/14 4:24 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
very lame and repetitive. Maybe SLJ was just a little amusement for this Bjorn guy? Might be better live?
Sevendust 2009/01/14 10:10 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
The problem with most SA bands are that they try to hard to be controversial. SLJ, Fokofpolisiekar, Just Jinjer (or ginger or whatever.. losers) In fact, all of it is borrowed and ripped off. Completely unoriginal, uninspired... I just so wish that people would stop forming bands after they've learnt 4 chords.
NOMBUSO 2009/01/15 10:37 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
NOT BAB NOT BAD AT ALL.
PRESHEN GOVENDER 2009/01/15 10:45 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
WHY DONT THEY JUST SHUT UP AND SING
Sarandon 2009/01/15 11:29 AM
Awww... I liked them.
Yes, I have met miss jones.. 2009/01/15 11:42 PM
Thank god someone said it! I am so sick of hearing Esjay's PAID FOR claim to fame articles and seeing her make money off the general populace who don't realise that her 'popularity' is bought. Celebrity is a money and power spinning game. Esjay plays it well, reinvesting gig and cd sales money into hyped marketting that reels in more of the 'fleeting' populace and thus more money. Stealing Love Jones rely on a high turnover of fans floating their boat. Congratulations Esjay, you have passed business school. This does not earn you credibility. On the Stealing Love Jones myspace and website some glorious rock and pop names are dropped under the 'influences section' - give me a break! Esjay isnt in it for the music.. or the fashion.. or the politics - she isnt invested in ANY artform except to base her cause to be FAMOUS. Be honest about your influences.. CASH and CELEBRITY at ANY COST. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with working hard to become a public figure, just quit the charade. It's embarrassing. Esjay is NOT bicurious.. the definition usually pertains to straight men and women who experiment with same-sex sexual experiences. Esjay is at best the reversal of that, a lesbian who dabbles with men, mostly to maintain the straight front under which she markets Love Jones. Esjay has never had a partnering relationship with a man. Why does she conceal her homosexuality? Because she believes if she were openly gay that the general populace would not fan Love Jones, or at least not in the worldwide mass numbers she desires. Am I the only person who finds that cripplingly patronising to the general populace? While I appreciate that many public figures guise their sexuality, and indeed a section of society maybe would turn away from Love Jones due to her homosexuality, that doesnt make the lie any better. If you dont want your sexuality to be a public issue, don't market yourself as a sexual object one way or the other and risk the debate. It's another example of CASH and CELEBRITY at ANY COST, and it makes me sick to witness! O and Esjay, regarding the new album, you cannot buy success by spending hundreds of thousands to record with a name and market through association. Lastly, I would like to understand your affinity with Britney Spears; Put simply, you want 'limelight love' like she does and has achieved? I would like to point out that Britney doesn't claim or sell any musical credibilty to her fans, just excellent pop, and that gives her art longevity. Unfortunately the 'passion' you sell appears calculated and your pop isnt excellent, and people arent as stupid as you believe them to be to not (eventually) see that. So maybe you should try a different tack? Get off my airwaves and out of my sight with your tactically financed and marketted 'image'. Are you a can of Coke? Regards. An Anonymous Friend. Ps. Don't be mad at me Esjay. I'm sure you've read in one of your self-help 'Guide to Success' books somewhere, how even 'bad press is press nonetheless'. I've done you a favour! Every reader who laughs at this hate mail is ironically making you still more famous! You should buy me a drink sometime for the publicity I'm generating for you. O wait, you already have. You're very clever like that aren't ya?
Ron 2009/01/16 4:26 PM
woah, this chick with the essay of a comment has a loooooot of sour grapes to peel... don't like the album but I can't say I respect such blatant jealousy either...
Divina 2009/01/19 3:51 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
With Stealing Love Jones citing Nickelback, Britney Spears, No Doubt amongst others as their influences the public shouldn't be surprised when their album reflects that banal, derivative style. Esjay's desperation to hide her lesbian sexuality by flirting and being with any mann reduces their credibility. The public are quick to see through it all to the insecure person she is.
Cedric 2009/01/21 3:43 PM
Ryan, bro. The most media-hyped bands become the most popular bands and consequently are earning money. These bands are not likely to quit, surely? Parlatones, Prime Circle, Dirty Skirts, FOP, aking, VCK etc Non of these are to my liking but let's not kid about; they are not about to quit!
lucy 2009/01/21 3:55 PM
'Media hype' is paid for people! bands / labels pay for the space.. it's like an advert.. Hype doesnt mean someone is necessarily popular. Media hype indicates they have a bank roll (which can be through rich dads, blowjob favours etc..)
JB 2009/01/27 10:51 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
If you know what little money was used to make this album, the struggles and the relationships severed and built, you would understand that nobody BOUGHT anything. Give the girl some cred for following her dreams at any cost. You sit at some keyboard typing, while she makes wise business decisons...type on, dude.
Rasmus 2009/01/27 11:24 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
@ JB: Are you kidding me? Are they supposed to sing the praises of this band because they didn't have that much money? Bullshit! There are more talented people out there with even less money making BRILLIANT music. And for some reason this band is taking all the shine. Stop finger pointing: if it sucks, it sucks. The media can't be 'nice' to everyone: that just fosters mediocrity.
Pieter 2009/01/28 1:58 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Yeah don't try make excuses for a bad album, a desperate insecure front women and the band not cutting it live. The album is a disappointment and having had it recorded for free in exchange for sexual and other favours with producers and other artists is not going to help the credibility of a band who are obviously lacking substance.
Jared 2009/02/11 4:29 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Esjay has an ego the size of a house. She lives as if there is no tomorrow without considering the consequences or impact she imparts upon people. Hopefully sooner rather than later she will wake up to the realisation that people have seen through her facade and her music without substance to leave her behind begging for attention like her idol Brittany Spears.
Llewellyn 2009/02/18 3:08 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
rite... now i have heard it all...shame on all of you who think or assume you know her i too have met her and been at her and the bands live gigs and i think from were they have come from they are amazing. there music hits your soul and your heart...if you have one....have you even thought what bleed to bloom means...one needs to bleed in life and give there all to survive and then you become what you dream...esjay and stealing love jones have worked hard putting there own money in to start something they believe in and thats the music and there fans....her sexuality should not even be in question here its her music that counts and it brings smiles and tears to many South Africans and International fans alike....I give her and her band BIG thumbs up for trying and doing such a Great job.....GO MISS JONES stuff anyone else its your dream so carry on dreaming....... and for the record everyone is a celebrity in there own rite, in our place of work our friends or even clubs if your well known in any sort then your a celebrity....So be a Celebrity Miss Jones.....
Danni 2009/02/18 11:56 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Wow...I don't even know how or where to start. Firstly, Esjay is one of the most astute businesswomen that I have ever encountered. She does not pay for fame, celebrity or any kind of instant gratification that other comments allude to. Rather, she is willing to put her money into something that she honestly and truly believes in - her music. Additionally, this is why she would rather be in debt and work that off than use any other "means" previously mentioned. Do not comment on that which you are unsure of, or know nothing about. POPULARITY CANNOT BE BOUGHT, and the millions the recording industry loses as a result of promoting artists that don't sell is proof of that. Regarding Bleed to Bloom, in the recent leg of concerts SLJ have played to packed audiences, who all serve as a testament to the wide-following the band has, as well as the quality of music produced. Bleed to Bloom is a phenomenal album of an international standard. From FOREVER IMPOSSIBLE to DNA, the album has much to offer, and in lieu of this, it has received many positive reviews. SLJ's music is at once raw and polished, vulnerable and in-your-face. But one thing is certain, it is music that is real, honest, emotive. and sensational. I agree with Llewellyn, the music really hits your heart and soul...and anyone who has attended a live performance can attest to that. Esjay's personal life and sexuality is no business of yours, and is irrelevant unless she herself wants to make it relevant. To those who only have mean things to say: Sour grapes, hatred, jealousy are not admirable qualities. Esjay is real, honest and incredibly humble. She is also incredibly talented...simply beyond superlatives. Not many people can say that someone as credible as Bjorn Thorsrud believes in them. And all i know is that I would invest my last cent in Esjay Jones, if it meant helping her succeed. Follow your dream no matter what Miss Jones, the people who matter are right behind you and always rooting for you!
Sydney 2009/02/19 9:13 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
I have just read through the comments below this review. I am appalled! If this "Miss Jones" chooses to sleep with men and woman or just one of the sexes then WHO THE HELL CARES? I thought South Africa was one of the more progressive countries Ive been to! in my opinion, its very rock n roll! Many pop and rock artists are Bi-sexual or gay. lets think back to Mick Jagger etc As a thirty year old male, I may never stand a chance with the gorgeous lead singer if she is gay but I can assure you that when she hits my town I will be in the front row watching her and hanging on every word. What concerns me the most about these comments below is what horrific human beings we have created in South Africa? Through all we have been through, we still try to take each other out. That “I met miss Jones” person is a pig! I am not a HUGE fan of the style of music and yes, the album isn’t as strong as I expected but as a Marketing Manager it looks to me like Stealing Love Jones could be the most marketable asset South Africa has had for international shores in many years.
NEXT ON CHANNELX
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.