Album Remarks & Appraisals:
2009 album from Neo-Soul vocalist. 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&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.
Billboard (p.32) - "[T]he sublime track 'Big Ole Game' almost sounds like an old Al Green recording."
The "free" in the title to Joss Stone's fourth album apparently refers to the neo-soul singer breaking free from the shackles of her major label, EMI, who apparently have not let Joss be Joss. That this constricting argument happens to be the exact same story line Stone used for 2007's Introducing Joss Stone, the splashy diva power trip meant to unveil the "real" singer, is conveniently forgotten, as is the modern R&B of that makeover, with Joss returning to all the retro-soul of her first two records. The one lingering element of Introducing is a propensity for melisma-laden singing, a tic that stands out in the warmer, funkier settings of Colour Me Free! Still, her raw vocal skills remain impressive, as does her taste in soul, and this does beat with a messy human heart. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine