Joi

Star Kitty's Revenge

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    6
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It boasts perhaps the greatest title of any album released in 2002, but Joi's solo debut, Star Kitty's Revenge, isn't as assured as its name, or its cover art, for that matter. It's a fairly standard piece of contemporary urban soul, filled with skits and interludes, songs that have "interpolations" of classic soul songs (the almost-opener "It's Your Life" quotes Sly Stone's "Running Away"), and a bit of naughtiness throughout. Some of it is sort of ambitious and kind of interesting, like the breakbeat breaks on "Techno Pimp," which isn't the same thing as being successful, of course. Usually, the album works best when the ambition is used as flavor instead of the modus operandi, like the slinky, funky "Crave." If the album had been streamlined a bit, cut back from its 18 tracks (including interludes), while jettisoning meandering cuts like "Munchies for You Love," it would have the sexy swagger Joi intended it to have, but, as it stands, it's sporadically entertaining and intermittently interesting -- less of a revenge than a tentative first step forward.

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