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4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2010 sophomore album from the Canadian singer/songwriter. After the platinum-selling Juno-nominated success of her debut, Fefe Dobson has spent the last few years penning hits for the likes of Miley Cyrus, Jordin Sparks, and Selena Gomez. Fefe is finally doing what she does best - writing, recording, and performing her own songs. Working with producers Howard Benson, Bob Ezrin, David Lichens, and Jon Levine on Joy, Fefe has created an album that showcases her amazing talent.

About the Artist

For her second Island Def Jam album, the aptly named Joy, the young, 24-year-old industry veteran Felicia "Fefe" Dobson is finally embracing her roots, with a no-holds-barred collection of full-throttle rock & roll that spotlights her skills as a singer, songwriter and performer.

From the cheeky, nursery rhyme playground anthem and first single, "I Want You," the tribal percussion of "Can't Breathe," produced by rock legend Bob Ezrin (KISS, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Lou Reed), and the sassy retort of "You Bitch," produced by Howard Benson (All-American Rejects, My Chemical Romance, Daughtry, Hawthorne Heights, Gavin DeGraw, Papa Roach), to the dance-floor thump of the tongue-in-chic "Paranoia" and the arena, flick-your-Bic torch song, "In Your Touch," Fefe has finally found the sweet spot in her mix of rock and club beats.

"I grew up with Michael and Janet Jackson, but my older sister was listening to Guns N' Roses and Nirvana, so I was right in the middle of it," says Dobson, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, where she was brought up by a single mom, a mix of native Canadian and English, with a Jamaican father she just recently reconnected with. "I like that combination, especially when I heard Janet's `Black Cat,' with its rock guitar riff. That's what this album reflects. I tried to isolate myself from the radio and TV while I was making it. I listened to a lot of old records, like Stevie Nicks, the Doors and Led Zeppelin, real dramatic, emotional music."

Joy reflects that passion, both musical and personal, with Fefe's sensuality oozing out of songs like the speeded-up punk of "Watch Me Move" ("I'm a firecracker/Better tell your mother... W-w-w-w-watch me move"), the Pretenders-like ballad "Shame" and the pure ecstasy of the title track ("I got joy in the bedroom/When it's just you and I/I got joy when you satisfy me").

Dobson bust onto the music scene as a precocious 18-year-old, releasing her debut album in 2003, which spawned four singles, including "Bye Bye Boyfriend," "Take Me Away," "Everything" and "Don't Go (Girls and Boys)." She appeared as Tina Turner in the NBC series, American Dreams, opened for Justin Timberlake's European tour, and was featured in a Tommy Hilfiger commercial that included "Don't Go (Girls and Boys)." The album also earned her two Juno Award nominations for Pop Album of the Year and New Artist of the Year.

By 2006, Dobson returned to the studio to work on her never-released album, Sunday Love, which featured collaborations with such artists as Billy Steinberg, Matthew Wilder, Cyndi Lauper, Courtney Love, Joan Jett, Nina Gordon and Rancid's Tim Armstrong. In the interim, several of her songs were covered, including "Start All Over," a song which was recorded for Sunday Love, but never made the album, by Miley Cyrus, "Don't Let It Go to Your Head," the first single, by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, and "As a Blonde," which was covered by Selena Gomez.

Four years later, Fefe is back, with an album that is a clear indication that she will be doing things her way, or not at all.

"I had to go and find myself musically," she says about the break between releases, crediting manager Chris Smith's confidence in her ability for the breakthrough. "I needed time to do that. Luckily, I was allowed to do it on my own, without any interference. Otherwise, I would never have been able to make this album."

Working with producers David Lichens, Jon Levine, Howard Benson and Bob Ezrin on Joy, Dobson lives up to the portraits of her heroes she first hung during the recording of her first album--Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, Coldplay, the Vines and Jeff Buckley. She co-wrote most of the songs on the album, usually composing on guitar, her choice of instrument.

"I play the few chords that I know," she says. "I try to write melodies off the same chords. `Joy' is written with about three chords, and an extra one in the bridge."

Songs like "I Want You," which has been heard in the TV series The Vampire Diaries, as well as in promos for the film Whip It and The Sims 3: World Adventures computer game, come straight from experience.

"I'm a sucker for love," admits Fefe. "When I was in junior high, I would carry around this huge volume of Shakespeare. I just like the romantic vibe. I write about it because I fall in and out of love quite a bit. I was always pulling on my mother's heartstrings to get more love."

"Shame" is a torch song underlined with jungle rhythms that is a confessional in which she does the breaking up. "When I went to demo the song, I had to go see an ex-boyfriend," says Fefe. "I felt I betrayed him, so I wanted to clear the air. I could not sing it until I did. This reflects that relationship. As humans, we're not perfect. We sometimes hurt people and break hearts, but it's OK to apologize."

In "Can't Breathe" and "Watch Me Move," Fefe is confident in showing off her raw sexuality.

"I am woman, hear me roar," she laughs. "Aren't we all animals at the end of the day? I like to show that side of me, but in a respectful way. I'm just expressing myself. It's all about feeling good and confident about yourself, and not letting anyone else tell you what you can or can't do."

At her young age, Fefe Dobson is more than ready to tackle expectations for her upcoming release.

"People expect you to bring it by the third album," she says. "But I'm not letting the pressure get to me because that's when the fun disappears. I want to laugh and enjoy myself because, at the end of the day, I didn't do this just to do it but because I love to perform and make music. At the end of the day, I want to be rocking like Tina Turner when I'm her age."

With Joy, Fefe Dobson is on her way to achieving that goal.

"I don't regret a thing," she says. "I keep moving forward and not looking back. I couldn't ask for anything better. I'm a girl from suburban Canada who never thought I'd be able to do what I've accomplished. And I'm not done yet."

In fact, Fefe Dobson is just getting started.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ghost
  2. Thanks For Nothing
  3. Stuttering
  4. Can't Breathe
  5. You Bitch
  6. Didn't See You Coming
  7. Watch Me Move
  8. I Want You
  9. I'm A Lady
  10. In Your Touch
  11. Set Me Free
  12. Joy

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 30, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B003EQN6US
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,708 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
'Sunday Love' is FeFe Dobson's original sophomore record, but unfortunately, her label Island dropped her before they released it, meaning that it was shelved. It was very post-grunge, and she collaborated with music legends Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper, and Courtney Love. Unfortunately, since it was shelved, Island had the rights to those songs, and they sold them to very tween-pop singers. But amazingly, they weren't bastardized! They still worked. None of this seemed to affect FeFe, and she continued to do her own thing. She went back to the sound of her self-titled debut, but incorporated a lot more indie, jazz, and blues elements to the new songs she was crafting. These songs became the second half of 'Joy,' and they deserve that position. They are truly the best part about this record, and they form a FANTASTIC euphoric climax. The first half of 'Joy' are the songs that she wrote after being resigned to Island (Which I personally feel was a mistake. The indie\jazz\blues elements were completely left out of these new tracks, and Island postponed the release of the record for 2 more years.), and they very much reflect the tween-popstars that covered some of her 'Sunday Love' songs. There is definitely a disconnect. 'Joy' is essentially two EPs from two different labels stitched together to form one LP. But it works. It show's FeFe's diversity, and the newer, more produced songs, are SUPER catchy.
So while this may not be the record that I would have liked to have seen released (I really wish 'Sunday Love' was released, and that 'Joy' stayed true to it's indie roots), it's still a good record none-the-less, and I recommend it to any music-lover. Even music-snobs will find something to enJOY about 'Joy!'

NOTE: 'Sunday Love' was completely finished, produced, and mastered.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So a few years ago in the morning while I'm getting ready for work my son is eating breakfast while watching MTV (that was his way of getting ready for school). Normally I don't pay attention to the myriad Justin Timberbeibers caterwauling about the TV. Although my generation more or less invented MTV, we are now far too important to actually watch it. Besides, after they dumped Singled Out and Andrew Dice Clay, just who do they think they are?
Anyway, enter Fefe. She's backdropped by some school lockers singing & dancing her guts out that she wants me; yes, me (I Want You). Stop everything! She wants me! Well, how do you think that made me feel early in the morning? "Hey son, who is that singing?" He didn't know. Aren't kids his age supposed to know everything about what hot young sensations are singing? Kids these days, if they weren't so busy killing Gorgons on the X-Bollox, then they'd be able to update their aging parents about pop culture goings on. I had to watch the rest of Fefe's song and pay attention to the MTV credit just so I could write her name down. Well, maybe it was VH1. The rest of the day at work I had the "I Want You" tune stuck in my head. After watching "I Want You" on YouTube a few times, it hit me. Fefe transforms into the coolest girl-next-door on the planet. Her convincing ball of raw energy collides with the expected choreographed Hollywood polish. By forgoing a more elegant presentation, Fefe's reckless vulnerability just has to convince the object of her song that she really does want him, gracefulness be darned. Clap, clap, clap,clap, clap your hands!

Time wore me down. I stopped acting my age and bought this album. I'm glad I did. The songs "Stuttering" and "Joy" are play it again winners.
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Format: MP3 Music
Don't judge me, but as a child of the 90s--this album just brings back so many memories which is kind of odd seeing as this album was released in 2010. But the sound is that fun punk rock feel reminiscent of Blink-182, Lillix, or even Letters to Cleo, yet it's more mature and as an adult now I feel no shame in blasting Fefe with the windows down. This album is fun, upbeat and doesn't take itself too seriously.

"Stuttering" is an immediate standout though I might add the chorus sounds slightly too much like "Behind These Hazel Eyes" by Kelly Clarkson for my taste. "Ghost" which was the first official single is also a great track and shows the direction that Fefe went with musically. It's power pop/punk infused with an underlying dance vibe. It's sort of in the middle of a Good Charlotte and The Veronicas album.

I love this album already and if you enjoy pop/punk and or happy exciting music, then this album is for you too.

**note, my definition of punk is more along the lines of Third Eye Blind, American Hi-Fi etc... and not The Sex Pistols or The Clash. If that's what you're into-then this album is not for you.
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Format: Audio CD
I love Fefe Dobson's album Joy it's fun pop rock, just as good as her first album. The lyrics are great and love the nice melodies too. My favorite songs are: Ghost, Stuttering, I'm a lady, You bitch, Set me free, & Can't breathe. I like the whole album anyway it's rocks!!!
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Format: Audio CD
"Ghost" and "I Want You" are two of my favorite tracks on this album. "I Want You" is my favorite. It's fun and upbeat and you can dance to it if you so please. "I'm A Lady" although not as good as some as her older goodies is solid too. It's got this classic rock sort of vibe. I like the guitar solo during the bridge. It's too short though. "Set Me Free" is cool too.

What I don't like about this album though is the fact that most of the tracks sound like filler. All of you who have been following her since 2004 or so know that her albums never have a lot of that. Expectations were high after her debut. And now that I've listened to and got used to her second CD, they are even higher. I guess the album isn't "bad" but it's not great either. It's somewhere in the middle. I might get it used when it's even cheaper but I don't like all (or even most) of the tracks so I won't buy it brand new.

3.5 stars.
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