Review Summary: with Fefe finally finding her musical identity, she releases Joy, which stands out as one of the better pop rock albums of 2010.
Mainstream rock could use a bit of spunk. I don’t mean we need another dirty-minded drunkard like Chad Kroeger from Nickelback. I mean pop rock has gotten soft. What the genre needs is someone with punch, fire, gusto, and cheekiness. It needs the next Avril Lavigne or Kelly Clarkson, the kind of single artist that has angst, but applies it cleverly and cutely, within the boundaries of mainstream appeal. I suppose Lily Allen is the closest artist to do that in the pop scene, but that leaves us with the need for it in the pop rock/rock scene. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Fefe Dobson, the answer to everything that pertains to good mainstream pop rock.
That’s right, the Canadian musical artist, Fefe Dobson, is back with a vengeance. Despite her bumps with record labels and a lengthy wait for her next album, Joy somehow turned out just fine. So fine, in fact, that it has already made her famous (especially in Canada). Her songs are dominating the radio and also the television, with her music appearing in restaurants, advertisements, and even television shows themselves (she personally appeared on an episode of Hellcats with her song ‘Stuttering’). Her musical journey has been an interesting one to say the least, so it is thrilling to find out that the entire journey was not in vain. Let’s forget her past, for Fefe is here to stay.
Joy is a greatly varied album just as her debut album was. In this LP you will hear anything from pop rock to classic rock, indie rock, synthpop, and other variations. You’d think that such an assortment of styles would simply fall and crash like poor old Humpy Dumpty, but Joy is somehow perfectly cohesive for the entire length of the album. It really has nothing to with her producers (although they certainly helped), it is all thanks to Fefe finally finding her true self. Her musical influences still influence her (obviously), but for the first time, they are not dictating her. For once, she is pulling the strings, and that is definitely a good thing. So when she sings songs such as ‘Thanks for Nothing’, ‘You B
itch’, and ‘I’m a Lady’ one can’t help but a feel a bit of joy as one realizes that Fefe is in complete control now. The songs are scathing, showing the new Fefe, in full form, playing rock and roll, her true talent.
Fefe is a talented girl, and Joy is a true indicator of that fact. In ‘Stuttering’, she belts out impressively high and quick notes during the chorus with no real effort at all, because the girl can sing. She even does it again in the infectious number, ‘Watch Me Move’, as the guitars rip along with her body. Simply put, Fefe’s vocal performance in Joy is stunning, powerful, emotional, fun, and magnetizing. If heard on the radio or elsewhere, her voice is completely distracting in the way that a topless girl is distracting. The sheer naked notes she hits with her aggressive assertion is tempting. Joy, in the end, may not exactly exude joy, but it does not matter, for the sheer power in Fefe’s performance is seductive. Joy is the next great pop rock album that deserves to be heard, and certainly will be.
- Thanks for Nothing
- Can’t Breathe
- You B
- Watch Me Move
- I Want You
- I’m a Lady