19
Jun
10

JOSS STONE/CARRIE UNDERWOOD REVIEWS/JOHN EMMS

joss stone 3

JOSS..STONE/COLOUR ME FREE/CARRIE UNDERWOOD/PLAY ON.

As most people are aware both Stone and Underwood are exceptional vocalists. The difference on these releases is that Stone’s cd comes off more  organic to her own talent. On tracks like Parrallel Lines  the new single Free Me, and her gorgeous cover of Ray Charles’ I Believe It To My Soul Stone reaches an emotional depth while keeping the tempo upbeat, making intelligent lyrical choices on her own songs, and singing the hell out of the tracks.

Stone seems in lock and step with the musicians among them David Sanborn and Jeff Beck and feeds off of their chops . Underwood relies on a more polished studio approach on Play On  where ballads rule. That may be fine, but there seems less distinction in the overall songcraft. Even the rock single Cowboy Casanova sounds like a Mutt Lange/Def Leppard outake.

Elsewhere Mama’s Song, Temporay Home, and Someday When I Stop Loving You all containing superb vocals sound like they could have come from any country album over the last 5 years by any female vocalist

The better songs on Play On such as the funky Undo It and the banjo jump/rock vibe of Songs Like This find  Underwood simply getting closer to a performance feel. If you have ever watched Underwood on stage you know just how captivating she can be

Elsewhere on Colour Me Free Stone’s  originals like the smoldering Lady, the unforced duet Big Ol’ Game with Raphael Saadiq and the political soul show stopper Governmentalist with it’s terrffic wordplay  really push her talent in a good way.

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