Leon Jean Marie - Bent Out of Shape (3 stars)

Leon Jean Marie - Bent Out of Shape

(Island Records)


This talented Londoner must collect up a helluva lot of artists inside 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 he can’t. Homage is paid to everything from the Specials’ ska rhythms, Kylie/Britney bubble-gum synths (courtesy of ‘Bloodshy’) and ‘Billie Jean’-esque beats to nu-soul luxurious vocals, Prince-like ‘yeah-yeah’ shrieks and Beatles psychedelic funk. All this tinged with an orchestral lounge vibe throughout and a welcome 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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