It’s hardly fair to compare a modern artist
to Paula Abdul’s early-nineties albums, but Joelle
does bring them inescapably to mind. There something
about the combination of songs on her album, Pillar
of Stone, that reminds me of an adolescence spent
bopping around to a mix of angry-girl rants and sweet-girl
ballads. When you’re eleven, that’s how
love seems to be: half the time the boy is whacking
you on the arm in class and then ignoring you, half
the time he’s winning you a teddy bear at the
school carnival. Are you pissed off? Are you sentimental?
It could go either way.
These feelings are reflected in Joelle’s mix
as well, although her lyrics are a little naughtier
than Paula’s were back in the day: “Give
it to me what you do /I’m dripping wet /Just
watching you,” she sings to her fella – that
is, when she’s not yelling at him. Most of the
songs are high energy dance tunes; the layered tracks
of Joelle’s throaty voice come at you from all
directions, gyrating on a platform of bass and heavy
She does lean towards anger, albeit catchy anger.
Apart from “Tongue-Tied,” most of her
songs seem to be directed at a man who done her wrong.
In “In Your Dreams,” she snits “Go
buy a copy of Halo 3, I’ll stay committed while
you live free...in your dreams.” Go, girl. Clearly,
I’m not the only woman who has known the love
of a non-committal geek.
Overall, Pillar of Stone is a rocking testament
to the power girls have over themselves. It’s
the perfect album to put on when you’re in a
rage over your boyfriend’s latest screw-up, so
slam it on the stereo and dance your pain out, sister.
I promise you’ll feel better than fine in no
Favorite Track: Track 6, “In Your Dreams”