5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Souless Sessions......unless you're twelve!,
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This review is from: The Soul Sessions (Audio CD)
IMPORTANT SEE UPDATE FOOTNOTE
I arrive at the Souls Sessions like the Fuzz at a Brixton Blues - and by the time you have read this just as welcome.
Twenty plus years ago, Prince tied a bandana around his temples and waved a strat around like it was an AK47. It would be several years before defenders of the Hendrix faith would allow Prince's name to be spoken in recognition of something original.
So how on earth did Mojo et al roll over so easily with Soul Sessions?
To the uninitiated SS is breakthrough, heavy "smoky" vibes breathed over R'n'B creations old and new. Look at the competition of the day Natasha Beddingfield, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Dido, or back to Kylie and the Sugarbabes!
But hang on a minute this is Sixteen year old Kentish girl (or possibly girl of Kent) aping Mavis Staples, Jean Knight, Gladys Knight and Irma Franklin (yes... Aretha's sister) and we get eulogies like the world has been remade. I beg to differ.
First when the originals stood in a rudimentary booth, with Stax writtAYNE on the front, the sung with pure emotion. The result begat style, they weren't folloWAANG one. On SS the fresh fresh face Neo-Soul-a-like, dons black cans in favour of dangly earRAAYNGS, and poses obscured by artfully suspended condenser microphone. And what you see is exactly what you're gonna get. They read the book ticked all the boxes and then paid veteran session mercenaries (and every man has his price I can assure you) for added authenticity. And what you have is....Lady (from Kent) sAAYANGS the blues !
Am I offended...yeah just a bit, the opeNAAYANG is passable, but Dirty Man noTHANG short of horrific and an affront to the genre. Endlessly droNAAYANG and warbBERLAAYNG the heavily laboured lyric. Worse to come at the end when she attempts the underrated but unsurpriSAANG much-covered For the Love of You. Originally by a certain Whitney Houston - whoever she is, gives a demonstration of knowing what you can do, and haVAYNG the confidence NOT to over do it. Whitney elegantly refined and understated, Stone just slaps it on all over the place. Rip it up? Joss murders this one.
If you are under 20 buy it and believe it. If you are over 40 - Atlantic? Stax? Philly? Tamla? Soul Power? Soul to Soul? (JB not Jazzie B) wake up and get real.
Music by numbers, surfing on the wave of ignorance. Soul for Six-Teen's.
By the way Joss where on earth does the accent come from?
19 Sept - I have returned to this album more forgiving after several more listens, it still pleases and offends in equal measure, but when you get over the mood, most of it is quality music. I ain't budging an inch over the accent or the truly insipid "Derrty Maaaan..." which is audio rat poison. Joss's third album "Introducing" has the accent cured and is eminently more faithfull. I'm prepared to upgrade the rating to *3.5 (if Amazon would let me - which they don't) and chomp a little humble pie.....