Leon Jean Marie - Bent Out of Shape (4 stars)

Leon Jean Marie - Bent Out of Shape

(Island Records)


This talented Londoner must listen to many an artist in his dreadlocked head to conjure up such interesting pop brilliance. Leon’s inspired opener forecasts the outrageously catchy hooks which lie ahead on his daring, eclectic debut. He warns on ‘East End Blues’ that he can’t be pigeon-holed.

Too right. Homage is paid to everything from the Specials’ ska-reggae rhythms to Kylie/Britney bubble-gum synths (courtesy of Bloodshy); from ‘Billie Jean’-esque beats to nu-soul luxurious vocals; from Prince-like ‘yeah-yeah’ shrieks to Beatles psychedelic funk. All this tinged with an orchestral lounge vibe throughout and a welcomed dash of formulaic Ronson horns. An addictive package to rival his contemporaries, this comes with a warning – it will be huge.

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