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Joss Stone – Colour Me Free

Audio CD – Rs. 395

After successfully standing tall in a free-spirited album two years back titled “Introducing Joss Stone”, the Grammy Award winner makes her self defining attitude all the more clear in her latest album, “Colour Me Free”.

Convincingly soulful and full of life, Joss brings alive the African-American music of the 60s and 70s through her contemporary retro style. More connected to her lyrics, she shows proficiency in her earthly groovy vocals; almost like she's singing about her own experiences.

Screaming “Don't tell me that I won't. I can. Don't tell me that I'm not, I am,” over a heavy bass funk groove, she begins “Free me”, the first track, with a fresh lease of confidence and colour.

Typical of her style, she unleashes a string of superlative free-flowing music. Her free voice screams, jolts you out of reality and blows you onto her freedom trail.Following on the heart-pounding, raw emotive soul notes, she goes on to sing “Parallel Lines”. Moving on to newer groovy sounds, she screams out how she “needs to keep her lady” in “Lady”. Vibrant and energetic, Joss's voice takes a sensual high as she accompanies the trumpet's fill-ins.

Softening her tone, but never letting off her assertive voice, she sings to the piano's well-keyed bluesy “4 and 20”. Hitting each note with gusto she gives “just one day to prove you love me and make me believe” accompanied by melodic backup vocals.

Uncharted territory

The well-bred Rhythm and Blues artiste delivers more of her retro romp saying life is just a ‘Big ol' game to me”. Venturing into uncharted territory, the protest “Govermentalist” has a deep sense of funk with American rapper Nas lending nuance to its political conspiracy.“Incredible” breaks down all that was stopping Joss from herself as she rages out a volley of truly incredible harmonious lyrics, accompanied by brilliant guitar and trumpet leads.Joss discovers the love that she needs to see her through in “You got the love”, throwing in warmer groove in this romantic ballad as she “cries out to the Lord”.

“I believe it in my soul” carries a major portion of jazzy trumpet solos, which worked well for Joss to exhibit her controlled vocal skills. British singer Jamie Hartman starts a soft rock refrain on “Stalemate” with Joss's captivating voice blending in, and both prodigies combine their voices to render an elaborate soul-searching love song. “Girlfriend on demand” is a song for every lover never to take their partner for granted. Personal and moving, Joss gives it her all and pleads, “It's all I'm asking, baby, to hold my hand.”

The lyrics are substantially dreamy, while the music grows into surpassing excellence in the album closer “Mister Wankerman”.

A rich mélange of soulful trumpet interludes accompanied by sophisticated piano and drum pieces is a fitting finale to a nearly perfect album.

Overtly outperforming her previous records, Joss engulfs listeners in her spirited voice, transporting them in a warp back in time.

A promising album, Joss proves herself once again as a far-reaching artiste with an impressive voice. This is one album you do not want to miss for your R & B collection.

ALLAN MOSES R.

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