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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 November 2009
I loved the first soul sessions album for its rawness, then came over produced disapointing second album and after that I just thought the first album had been a fluke. This though just listening to on spotify, oh wow, she's only gone and put out an album we from the start wanted for the second album. Just full of pure soul and the vocals are up there with the greats. I've got a taste in music that dips into nearly every genre and just love raw soul, this album delivers.

Only not so good are the songs featuring Jamie Hartman, don't know who he is but his voice doesn't really go with hers as its very middle of the road charty vocals. Still not bad when she comes in, just of been better without him.

Still totally worthy of album of the year.

Welcome back Joss..
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on 19 September 2010
This is my favourite Joss Stone album so far. She is an amazing women - forget Amy Winehouse and Duffy, Joss is way, way above them. Unfortunately in the UK at least, she does not get the credit or publicity she deserves, but maybe that aint no bad thing - it's nice to have her all to ourselves. If you like blues, soul, jazz, gospel, smokey night-time music then you'll love this.
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on 3 November 2009
Ok before I review the album i want to say something quickly, I know most of Joss's UK fans have deserted her over her stupid Brit awards accent thing but I think we everybody just needs to get over that and realise she was just a young girl trying to act cool and she showed herself up :P I'm sure it's happened to us all at some time or annother but hopefully people forgave you and m oved on.

The second thing I want to mention before the review is how dissapointed with the way EMI has handled this whole album, I know that EMI and Joss have had some differences over this album but they should let singers/bands be creative with there music not just make some generic slop, Joss has sold over 11,000,000 albums worldwide so i'm sure she knows what she's doing.
The promotion this album has recieved is pathetic, Joss did a small UK tour to promote the album but EMI pushed it back, in the US they changed the cover to a plain boring written thing because apparently the cover for the UK and rest of the world was "offensive" . . . I don't see how Joss in a box is offensive when they were happy to have her naked agains a wall for "introducing Joss Stone" and they havn't even made a music video for the first single "Free Me" which is the biggest marketing tool to get people to realise theres a new album out.
It seems like EMI is still punnishing joss for her creativity and they are doing everything they can to make this album bomb which is sad and pathetic.

Now for the review!!! lol

For us Joss fans it's been a long wait due to all the push backs but now it's finally hear and I have to say that it's possibly her best album yet as good as "Mind Body And Soul" for sure.
if "Introducing Joss Stone" was a (great in my opinion) teenage rebellion "Colour Me Free" is the natural progression from "The Soul Sessions" & "Mind Body and Soul" and it's amazing for that.
The songs are raw, passionate and amazing and I can't get enough of it.
My favourite song on the album is "Could Have Been You" which I hope will be the second single and also look out for the AMAZING hidden track "Mr Wankerman".

You know what? I'm not that good at reviews but I have to say this is an amazing album and Joss is one of the best female vocalists of our time and we as a country need to support and praise her tallent, I find it rediculous that (amazing as she is) Amy Winehouse can take drugs, drink to excess, have fights in the streets and still sell shed loads and get unanimous praise from the UK but Joss makes one stupid, trivial mistake and shes abandoned :P

I hope EMI pull there finger out and start to promote this album properly because it's one of the best albums this year and doesn't deserve to be left on shelves gathering dust and I hope the fans give Joss annother chance and enjoy this album for what it is, Great Music . . . Love You Joss, keep making music forever! x
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on 26 October 2009
As a fan that has everything Joss has released and think she can do no wrong the only gripe I have with the album is that the following songs have been available over the last two years.

"Big Ole Game" (Ft. Raphael Saadiq) available on both the special edition (with bonus Cd) and Japanese version of "Introducing Joss Stone."Introducing Joss Stone
"Governmentalist" ...was available free via Joss' website in 2008
"I Believe It To My Soul" (Ft. Dave Sanborn) available on Dave Sanborns' 2008 album "Here And Gone"Here and Gone
"Stalemate" (Ft. Jamie Hartman) available on Bens Brothers 2009 album "Battling Giants."Battling Giants
Bonus hidden track - "Mr Wankerman"...was available as a free download on Joss' imeem page Christmas 2007.

Free Me" ...the first single shows Joss in a rebellious but playful mood and should see her back in the charts with this catchy number that takes a swipe at her label EMI especially with the closing words "Free me EMI!"
"Could Have Been You" ...soulful love song which could have been included on "Introducing Joss Stone"
"Parallel Lines" (Ft. Jeff Beck and Sheila E) ...with a reggae backbeat is a real treat
"Lady" a classic album soul track.
"4 and 20" ...this bluesy offering was a hit when Joss performed this track live when she showcased the album at various small venues around the UK.
"Big Ole Game"...has been a favourite song of mine for years and showcases her voice perfectly.
"Govermentalist"...a catchy protest war song.
"Incredible"... another personal favourite with a rousing chorus which could of also been included on "Introducing Joss Stone"
You Got The Love ...A cover of the Shapeshifters 2006 hit
"I believe it to my soul" ...A rousing cover of a Ray Charles classic that could do pretty well on Jools Hollands' "Later"
"Stalemate" ...this version has far more feeling (in my opinion) than the current single with Bens brother and Anastasia
"Girlfriend On Demand" ...the final track and by far my favourite album track (at 7.30 mins) since "What Where We Thinking" ("Introducing Joss Stone").
"Mr Wankerman" ...a hidden track shows Joss in a rebellious mood having fun jamming with her band - 13.44 mins of pure bliss

With a basic booklet and a single unflattering photograph of Joss inside (no doubt a move to anger EMI) this album reveals a more mature sound but I can't wait until a more settled and happy Joss delights us even more with a fifth studio album. So come on EMI let her go ...
Refers to the UK version
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on 18 November 2009
I originally had slagged off Amazon because I thought the CD sent did not include track 13 - which is one of my favourite tracks.
In fact track 13 is not shown in the list of tracks on the CD cover BUT the CD contains track 13.
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on 26 December 2009
Like a lot of people, when the release of this album was delayed for so long and the rumoured problems with her record label surfaced, I wasn't holding out a lot of hope on 'Colour Me Free' being all that good. I mean, the first thing you think is that it must be pretty bad for EMI not to be pushing for it's release or bothering to promote it when it does eventually put it out there. Not the case here. The real reason for the delay has been that Joss made this album herself without any input from EMI and they got the hump about it. They want a cash cow but fortunately for us and not for them, they have a true artist and soul singer on their hands. To me I believe the artist and not the 'company' should decide what they want there own music to sound like.

I am so glad that as an original Joss fan I didn't miss out on one of her best albums to date. I love 'Soul Sessions' and the first proper studio album 'Mind, Body and Soul' I was not a huge fan of 'introducing...' however, the Vinnie Jones intro didn't really kick it off well. It did have some good songs but overall dissapointing in comparison to what's gone before. This album has brought back the raw soul sound from her debut with new songs that sound like old school classics.

Stand outs for me have to be the opener 'Free me' that just grabs you from the start with it's strength and defiant lyrics over an uptempo and catchy hook. 'Big Ol game' and '4 and 20' are for me the kind of retro soul songs I love to hear Joss sing. 'Stalemate' is a heartwrenching song and a fantastic collaboration with Ben's Brothers Jamie Hartman.

None of the songs on this album are bad and all of them are sung with a raw emotion, similar to the back to basics sound that Beverley knight achieved with 'Music City Soul'.

Joss Stone is a true UK artist and not an over-hyped, mass-marketed and over-produced singer that gets forced into our ears every time we turn on the tv or radio nowadays. This girl had the strength to do it her way and should be applauded and recognised for it. Great effort and highly recommended album.
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Ms Stone would have us believe that her new album is the
real deal and that all that went before was just a stage-managed
dress rehearsal for this moment.
For my money, however, I cannot discern any substantial qualitative
difference between 'Colour Me Free' and all that has gone before.
Neither have I ever quite believed that she deserved all the attention
and acclaim granted to her over the past six or so years.

The voice has not grown or developed in range or emotional expression.
It is a pale shadow of the queens of the genre she so desperately
seeks to emulate. Hers is a near-desperate search for a raw and
credible authenticity which will forever remain beyond her reach.

There are some truly average vocal performances among the
thirteen tracks in this collection.
'Lady' comes close to being the worst of the bunch. Forced,
one-dimensional and stylistically unconvincing
The biggest problem is that she does far
too much for far too much of the time
Ms Stone has little understanding of the
notion that less can sometimes be more.

I, for one, would have been happier with far, far less.

A One Trick Pony.
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on 22 October 2009
First things first, i LOVE Joss Stone, and i was one of the few it seemed, who enjoyed the majority of 'Introducing Joss Stone'. Yes there were a few of miss-steps and it wasn't NEARLY as good as 'The Soul Sessions' or 'Mind, Body & Soul', but she was growing annoyed with her label, and couldn't be as creative and as free as she wanted to be.
Colour Me Free has been a long time coming, with the whole problems she has had leaving her original label to getting the record produced, but i can honestly say that it is COMPLETELY worth the wait, doesn't disappoint and DEFIANTLY doesn't come up short!
THIS is the record that sees her return to the woman from her original 2 albums. The voice warbles and hollers above FANTASTICALLY catchy and bouncable soul strings and drums. There is FAR more solo singing and the backing when it enters is tasteful and compliments her beautifully. Stand out tracks for me include 'Free Me', '4 and 20' and 'Big Ol' Game', Not just for their originality, but for the sheer heart that seeps from every note. Although, the every single track deserves singular mention for one reason or another! Governmentalist is a real message to America, and whilst i personally wish she would put the whole American phase behind her, if just to prove that she has moved on from that immature moment in her career, it is a bit of a dig at the country, and it does draw a wry smile from me when i listen to the lyrics!
From the moment the first quiet pluck of the guitar enters in 'Free Me', through to the moment the last note sails out on 'Girlfriend On Demand'* the album shakes with quality and a fantastic return to an English sounding, pure feeling soul record.
I would defiantly rate it as 5 star, even if i disagree with the decision to release the album over in America nearly a month before we get it here?! Very strange.

Defiantly recommend the purchase of this record. If not as the first Joss Stone record a new fan purchases, then defiantly as a fantastic addition to her repertoire and as a fantastic message to everyone that when not pressured into a direction, this woman can produce a WORLD BEATING, heart filled, unique and beautiful record.

* I have purchased mine from America and therefore miss the bonus uk track Mr Wankerman. Although i am looking forward to hearing this, it is a reworking of Mr Loverman! Should once again, be different and very funny!
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on 9 November 2009
Let me start this album review by saying that I have been a fan of Joss since her first album "The Soul Sessions", so I have been following her work for more than 6 years. I really like her music expression, she values that old vibe that is very rare these days in modern music.
"Colour Me Free" is a wonderful R&B/Soul album. I love every single song, and the lyrics are very strong. There are many thematic aspects that Joss picked as the subject of this record. Some of those themes are love, hate, family, disappointment and politics to name a few. What I like the most about this album is the way that Joss recorded it. It was recorded entirely on a low budget, with no fancy covers, photography or other promotional stuff. This album is just pure musical art. Joss said in an interview that it was recorded in her mother's studio at Mama Stone's in Wellington.
There are amazing artists that Joss invited to guest star on the record such as Jeff Beck, Sheila E, Raphael Saadiq and Nas. My favorite song is "Governmentalist". It's about everything that's wrong in the world these days, and Joss did a great job singing the vocals and writing the lyrics on the song. After only one listening, I've remembered nearly all of the songs instantly! The album is very catchy, and it doesn't need to grow on you after a few listens.
I would recommend this album not just to Joss Stone fans, but to all of the music lovers in general, this is really something special.
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on 14 November 2009
I saw Joss interviewed in the papers today, and learnt a few things 1)this album was recorded in one week 2) she organised it all herself, including guest artists 3) her record label do not support it... Curious and curiouser. So, I listened to it... and 1) Its a good album, by any standards 2) She's gone back to 'her' sound and seems comfortable in her skin 3)it's certaiinly not 'saccharine' and 'pop-y' enough for mas radio - possibly why her record label seems intent on not letting it see the light of day 4)some great and varied collabo's from people that know a thing or two about music (Jeff Beck, Raphael Saadiq, Sheila E)...

If you are brave enough to see beyond the negativity, you will enjoy this album. Joss may be misunderstood and not with the 'in-crowd' promoted and pushed in our faces daily by the mass media, but you can't accuse her of lacking talent.

There may be one or two tracks that could have done with a little more polish (4 and 20 sounds rather contrived, for example), but show me a perfect album and I'll show you a rarity.
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