F L JONES : Becoming Myself (Label: Lotus Musiq)

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F L JONES : Becoming Myself

FL Jones is a New York based singer/songwriter and he describes the music on ‘Becoming Myself’ – his debut solo album – as a cross between pre-religious Prince and a funked-up Seal. Listening through the 11 tracker, it’s clear he’s right. Vocally he has the same type of voice as Seal (distinctive, but not a classic soul voice) while the music has all the elements that made little old Prince so appealing at his peak. That’s to say there’s plenty of sparse funk, a smattering of complex rambles, some glossy pop and the odd quasi-erotic ballad… why, some of FL’s song titles even ape our Purple Pal. I mean what’s more Princely than ‘Sexy Beast’? That one, by the way, is pure Prince – fast and sparse – as is the album’s opener, ‘Living By The Funk’. That one has all the feel of ‘Get Off’, while the poppy beats on ‘Did I Mention’ might recall ‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’. Ballad-wise, ‘Three Weeks Later’ is the best. It has a nice edge to it and features pleasing double tracked harmonies… better by far than the cod-eroticism of ‘Trust Me’. Elsewhere, ‘I Choose You’ (featuring Leah Johnson) and ‘Affirmation’ are complex affairs while ‘Hey Friend’, oddly, owes more to Foreigner’s ‘Cold As Ice’ than anything Prince recorded. Still that’s the album’s odd one out. ‘Becoming Myself’ is a decent Prince pastiche and till Mr. Nelson gets back to business, his fans could do worse than check out FL Jones… the album’s currently available via the usual internet outlets.
(BB) 3/5