British singer, songwriter and actress Joss Stone released her debut album Mind, Body and Soul in 2004. Since then her writing style has not changed however the “stuff” she writes about has evolved significantly with her age. Her 2009 offering, Colour Me Free, has to be, in my opinion, her weakest piece of work. Regarding the fact that her debut album gave us hits such as Right To Be Wrong, You Had Me and Spoiled. However, her fourth album, Colour Me Free, was not as successful.
Colour Me Free was written and produced by Joss Stone, Conner Reeves and Jonathan Shorten. The shift from dealing with Stone’s love and loss to more current and political topics can be witnessed in a song featuring the popular and influential rapper Nas. The song is intelligently entitled Governmentalist as it breaks down the ills of society and how the people in power have failed the masses. You Got The Love is uncharacteristically not written Stone. This song touches on her religious beliefs, exposing the fact that she is a Christian. Songs like Free Me and Stalemate disappointingly transport us back to 2004 when she released her debut album. The sound has not changed.
She has always been a lover of soul music, funk and R ‘n B. She has shared the stage with the legendary Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson and the late James Brown. In my opinion, she fails to connect with younger, music-buying audiences because her sound is antique. I classify her sound is quiet “Golden Oldie” with the base guitar adding the funk to her music every once in a while. In contrast to Estelle, she is unable to break into the American market because the “elctro” sound, that is taking over all music genres, does not influence her music. I shun her for giving us the same music she did nine years ago. Her biggest obstacle and the cause for the dismal sales, in my opinion, is that she is unable to adapt to what today’s music listeners are looking for.
I feel as though to get a true feel of who Stone is, one should listen to her debut album. She provided me with the sound that soothed my blues and comforted my soul. The Colour Me Free album has no clear direction and the unorthodox collaboration she has with Nas is even more unsettling.