|All Artists: Joss Stone|
Title: Colour Me Free!
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Virgin Records Us
Release Date: 11/10/2009
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Colour Me Free
Colour Me Free!
UK 13-track CD album - Written and recorded at Mama Stones, Joss' mother's live music venue in Devon and produced alongside Jonathan Shorten and Conor Reeves, 'Colour Me Free' is an eclectic mix of pop, soul, R'n'B, funk, ... more »
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UK 13-track CD album - Written and recorded at Mama Stones, Joss' mother's live music venue in Devon and produced alongside Jonathan Shorten and Conor Reeves, 'Colour Me Free' is an eclectic mix of pop, soul, R'n'B, funk, hip-hop and gospel sounds. Highlights include the lead single 'Free Me', a pop song with an infectiously catchy chorus while 'Incredible' possesses a raw funk sound. 'Could have been You' captures urban influences and 'You Got The Love' carries strong Gospel undertones. With guest appearances from Jeff Beck & Sheila E., Raphael Saadiq and Nas. EMI. 2009.
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A welcome return to form for the British songstress.
bollywood | 11/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 22 year-old British songstress is back after a two-year break with an interesting album.
Delayed for a year by a label with whom she has fallen into dispute, "Colour Me Free!" represents a return to the retro-soul style of Joss Stone's debut following the ill-advised attempts to squeeze her into the R&B diva mould.
With her previous offering "Intoducing...", Joss turned into a wacky hippy chick with a weird dress sense and an even weirder transatlantic twang. And then, to make matters worse, Amy Winehouse stepped it up a gear and stole her thunder. Well, watch out, Amy, because Joss has returned and she wants her thunder back!
Interesting to note, too, that the album's title (COLOUR...) keeps its British spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.
Joss's original front cover showed her curled up and contorted, behind bars - her not-so-subtle attempt at saying record label EMI are trapping her.
"Colour Me Free!" is classic Joss. In other words, it's jam-packed with retro R'n'B numbers that sound like they are being sung by a tortured soul singer from Detroit, rather than a 22 year old from Devon.
Her voice sounds less likely to cause her damage, her material is (until some saggy bits towards the end) strong and her choice of guests (Nas, Shiela E, Jeff Beck and Sanborn) very good.
Vintage celebrities are wheeled out: Jeff Beck's nimble fluid jazz funk licks lift the slight "Parallel Lines", while David Sanborn's saxophone showboats all over "I Believe It To My Soul".
She also totally rips it up on her funky cover of "You Got The Love" and the smooth "Stalemate".
The voice is on fine form, rich and sexy, especially on her recent single "Free Me", the tunes are a mix of defiant, uplifting and heart-wrenching and R'n'B rumbler "Big Ole Game" is another highlight.
The fact that the songs were written and recorded in such a short space of time - a week, reportedly - gives "Colour Me Free!" an attractive vibrancy in its actual performances, but the lack of any truly standout moments renders it far from exceptional or memorable : despite the brilliant playing of her band, the album lacks the dark excitement of Amy's "Back To Black" or the bluesy pop thrills of Adele's 19".
My favourite tracks: "Free Me", "Stalemate", "You Got the Love" and "Big Ole Game".
Just to wrap this up: the album is a mixed bag.
But give her a chance, buy it and you may like it a lot!
Introducing Joss Stone
Back to Black
Welcome back to Soul
R. Kyle | USA | 12/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Whatever you say about Joss Stone, you've got to include this woman has a set of pipes beyond compare. I'm glad to see her back to her Old School Soul roots.
I like the whole album and there's not a single track not worthy of three stars, but the rockingest five of the dozen cuts are the ones I cannot stop listening to: Free Me, Incredible, I Believe it in my Soul (With David Sanborn guesting), Girlfriend on Demand, and Colour Me Free.
Rebecca Kyle, December 2009"
FREE This Album From Obscurity!!
Jef Fazekas | Newport Beach, California United States | 04/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When this album was released last Fall in the States, it was sort of unceremoniously dumped on an unsuspecting public...it was only available at one "super store", the artwork was atrocious, and there was next to no publicity. This would have been bad enough in any other/normal situation, but both Stone and the album had basically been held hostage for almost a year due to record company politics. One, two, three strikes....you're out!!
And that's too bad, because COLOUR ME FREE! is one of Joss Stone's strongest efforts to date. Yes, I'm still waiting for her to stretch into other areas (rock, pop, country), and she still needs to learn how to rein things in at times, but there's enough growth here to say that she's once again moving forward, a statement that couldn't be made after 2007's disappointing INTRODUCING JOSS STONE.
Things open with the slammin', stingin' "Free Me." Be it a relationship or a record contract, it's clear that A) Stone is no longer a little girl, and B) she's not to be messed with. Anchored by a wailing lead vocal, a percolating arrangement and defiant lyrics ("Something that you don't see every day/A little girl who found her way/Through a world that's designed to break/All of your dreams"), this is the perfect way to get things started.
"Could Have Been You" is my favorite track on the disc. With it's twinkling piano and shimmering backing vocals, there's an amazingly cool retro groove going on, but you can also picture any number of other contemporary acts covering the song. Wisely, Stone keeps it low key and understated for most of the cut (proving you don't always have to hit the big note!), which allows her to just SING. In a just world, "Could Have Been You" would well be on it's way ~ or already achieved! ~ major hit status! Sheer perfection.
"Parallel Lines" has a nice 70's soul feel to it, sort of a lost Stevie Wonder or Roberta Flack track. Stone's vocal is sultry, yet authoritative, while the arrangement is brilliantly bolstered by Jeff Beck's sizzling guitar and Sheila E.'s popping percussion. Another very nice piece of work!
There's a slow burn to "Lady" that get's under your skin and stays there. Stone's vocal swoops and soars, and when she sings "See, it's o.k. to be sassy/But I'll never be trashy/It's o.k. to be nasty/But you gotta keep your classy now" you know EXACTLY what she's talking about!
"4 And 20" is one of the biggest leaps forward on COLOUR ME FREE!...there's a classic jazz appreciation going on here, and Stone pulls it off without a hitch. Her vocal is spot-on, while the instrumentation is relaxed and easy-going (Special mention has to be made of Hollie Farris' sinewy, seductive trumpet playing).
"Big Ol' Game" is my other favorite cut on the album. Buoyed by a KILLER bass line, it just has an amazing groove to it. Part rock, part soul, all sexy attitude, this is the type of song that has you moving to it from start to finish, no matter how many times you've heard it. Toss in a captivating lead vocal and hot horns and you have another massive "Should've-Been-A-Hit." LOVE it!!
Things take a bit of a 180 with "Govermentalist." While everything flow naturally with most of the previous cuts, it all seems a tad bit forced here. It's as if Stone is TRYING to "say" something...vs. just saying it! Nas' rap also seems calculated and tacked on, resulting in a cut that, while not bad, just doesn't measure up to the rest of the disc.
Things get back on track with the energetic "Incredible." With an arrangement that is just smoking, this is a dance hit just waiting to happen. My only complaint? Stone's lead vocal. Instead of ALWAYS taking things to 11 ~ we know you can belt it out, Joss! ~ I would have liked to have seen her modulate things a bit more, offering up a bit more of give and take, push and pull, belting...and holding back. Still, another great track!
The disc takes a slight (but noticable) dip at this point. "You Got The Love" is an inspirational number that is completely lacking in true inspiration. The lead vocal is by the numbers and rote, while the arrangement is standard and unoriginal; this is soul faith 101. Four albums into her career, Stone shouldn't be stumbling backwards like this.
"I Believe It To My Soul" is only slightly better. Yes, the horn arrangement just stuns on this Ray Charles classic, but Stone's vocal performance is the aural equivalent of a kareoke showdown. Totally over the top, it's all image over content, attitude over substance. A prime example that, at just 23, Stone still has a lot to learn.
Far better is the disc's purest piece of pop, the lovely duet "Stalemate." Romantic and emotional, this mid-tempo ballad just pulsates with pained heat. The cut's only problem? It almost sounds more like a Jamie Hartman track with a guest vocal from Joss Stone, instead of the other way around. You should NEVER be perceived as the support act on your own disc! However, even with this minor flaw, this is still one of my favorite tracks.
"Girlfriend On Demand" is the perfect album closer...a lush ballad, it sports a heartfelt, sincere lead vocal, crisp, clean, uncluttered instrumentation and gut-wrenching lyrics ("You whisper that you love me/Ooh, but you won't say it out loud/You act like you're ashamed to be with me/I want a man who's proud"). One of Stone's best moments to date.
The import version of COLOUR ME FREE! has the added bonus track "Mr. Wankerman", which, to be honest, is nothing more than a fourteen minute jam that goes on for eleven minutes longer than it should. Once again, we're treated (?) to more attitude than substance, resulting in a cut that just falls flat, coming across as self-indulgent and shallow.
And that's too bad, because both Joss Stone and COLOUR ME FREE! are so much more. Yet as strong as COLOUR...is ~ and it just might be her strongest release yet! ~ there's a lot Stone can still learn. What she needs to do now is broaden her palette and paint with some new COLOURS. C'mon, Jossy, I know you can do it! (As with all my reviews, I'm giving the disc an extra half a star for including the lyrics)."