Tara Slone
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Tara Slone

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Heather Adler
Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Contrary to the title of her solo debut, Look Pretty and Sing, Toronto songstress Tara Slone refuses to be just another good-looking girl with a sexy set of pipes. This tenacious singer has taken on the music industry like a (wo)man, fighting outdated rock-radio stereotypes, surviving record label woes, dealing with the breakup of her band, Joydrop, being a finalist on reality TV’s Rock Star: INXS and birthing the first album that’s wholly her own.
“Women on rock radio? That’s an oxymoron,” Slone asserts. “I wish some of those rules were broken. I wish I could get program directors to be a little more open-minded, but unfortunately, radio is a fairly corporate game at the moment.”
Slone discusses her disgust with sexism in the music industry on Look Pretty and Sing (an album Slone admits will never make it onto radio) with the track “American Dreamgirl,” a song about the struggle of a woman trying to be noticed for her voice, not her assets. “Hey mister music / My name's not honey / Don't call me dear / My eyes are up here,” she sings on the song, which is the oldest track on the record, having been carried over from her days as the frontwoman in ‘90s rock band Joydrop.
“For me, that song really came out of being sexualized,” Slone explains. “Going into a radio interview, for instance, I wanted to talk about songs and the music, but instead it was about how hot I am.”
The song was the only one Slone wrote during her time in Joydrop, which broke up after their record label, Tommy Boy, went under following 2001 album Viberate. Now, on Look Pretty and Sing, Slone spreads her songwriting wings: the femme musician worked with collaborator Jordan Zadorozny (Hole, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Blinker the Star) to craft ever track herself. One moment scathing, distorted and venomous, the next angelic and sweet, the record offers a diverse collection of hard-rockers, dance floor fire-starters and sultry slow-jams, all spearheaded by Slone’s acrobatic, tough-but-tender vocals. Slone attributes the album’s dynamics to both the recording sessions, which included plenty of eclectic listening, and a heavy long-distance relationship that influenced her writing.
“Jordan is just a music enthusiast, so when we weren’t playing or recording, we were listening to music — and eclectic music at that, things I hadn’t paid attention to for years, like Hall & Oats, Thin Lizzy, weird shit,” she explains. “His music exuberance really informed the record and made me excited to write.”
Also included on Look Pretty and Sing is a cover of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” a song Slone previously performed as a contestant on reality TV show Rock Star: INXS while competing to replace the late Michael Hutchence as the band’s singer. While she’s pleased with her brash take on the song, Slone has mixed feelings about her brush with TV fame.
“Being publicly critiqued in front of 10 million people sucked and just the environment of a reality TV show was hard,” she laughs. “You’re sequestered, very limited in your communication with the outside world and it’s just a pressure cooker … There was a lot of fear.”
While Slone says she “absolutely would not” recommend reality TV as someone’s path to fame and fortune, she admits battling through the situation has made her stronger.
“I had a lot of hesitation about doing that show, but in the end, it was such a strange opportunity, that I would have regretted not doing it — I always would have wondered,” she explains. “I’m glad I did it … It was very valuable and I learned a lot about myself because it really was one of the most challenging positions I’d been in.”
Now, Slone is ready to take on the position of female solo artist, taking charge of her own career and challenging the rules of male-dominated rock ‘n’ roll with the release of Look Pretty and Sing on March. 6. The album and its cover might prove she’s both pretty and can sing — but don’t think for a moment that’s all she is or can do.
- Dose.ca


Volume 100 • Issue 97
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Dylan Clark
Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tara Slone
Just Look Pretty and Sing
The Orange Record Label

Tara Slone’s voice might sound familiar; she was the vocalist for Joydrop, the quasi-famous band behind the hits “Beautiful” and “Sometimes Wanna Die.”
Just Look Pretty and Sing is Slone’s solo debut and most of the songs are her own. She collaborated with Jordon Zadorozny, who is best known for working with Courtney Love.
Tara Slone knows how to rock; her vocals don’t disappoint.
Her voice is like a chameleon, changing noticeably on each song. The album’s cover track, “Suffragette City,” is as enjoyable as the rest. Stone’s “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am!” would certainly make David Bowie proud.
If the album has one low point, it’s the French version of her first single, “My Little Secret.” The translation sounds forced and the track seems pretentious and lame.
Overall, Just Look Pretty and Sing is an impressive debut likely to launch a successful solo career.
- The Gazette


Thursday March 15, 2007
by: John Britton

Tara Slone

Tara Slone knows all too well the ups and downs that her career has taken. But her tenacity and passion allowed her to persevere through her tumultuous adventures, and now she's back with a new album, Just Sing And Look Pretty.

"It's been a long three years!" Slone says in an exasperated tone at a Starbucks in Toronto's Little Italy 'hood. "I've been through failed management and a record label. That was the first hump. And then a reality TV show that felt like an eternity!"
On Rockstar INXS, Slone was one of the hopefuls who were vying to replace late lead singer Michael Hutchence in the seminal Australian rock band. Fellow Canadian JD Fortune won, but Slone doesn't mind talking about it.

"It's part of my history, as long as it's not my legacy," she says jokingly. "That's why it was so important for me to get this record out. I don't want that to be the reason why people remember me."

After Joydrop split, Slone hooked up with Jordon Zadorozny (Blinker The Star), who made a name for himself as a co-writer and producer with Sam Roberts, Melissa Auf Der Maur and Hole.

"The Blinker The Star stuff blew my mind," Slone gushes. "I happened to run into him when I was looking for a songwriter and he invited me up to his place in Pembroke [Ontario] where he has his studio. When I'd go up a few days a month, we just started writing songs without thinking of doing a record. He brought out and complimented things about myself and our styles were so complimentary, it would have felt wrong to go with a bunch of different writers."

The end result was a malleable 11-track disc with songs that could fit on any top 40 or modern rock playlist. Current single "We Were Stars" is getting play on MuchMoreMusic and "Sally Gets High" has the pop sensibility to be a chart topper. "My Little Secret" was recorded in both French and English and "American Dreamgirl," which was a Joydrop tune, has been re-recorded for the album.
"It didn't have it's due," Slone explains. "I think it's a powerful song that women can relate to and it's my personal experience being a woman in the business."

And though she's going back to basics with an independent label, don't think that Slone now fancies herself as "indie."

"Honestly, I don't have the songwriting ability to be an indie rock darling, as much as I would like that," Slone says with a grin. "Also, you can't come off a reality TV show and be an indie darling. Sorry, it can't happen!"
- ChartAttack.com


By Karen Bliss
April 2007

After being told to "Just look pretty and sing," the Canadian songstress adds her two
cents on the record industry with her new CD.

Tara Slone's solo debut, Just Look Pretty And Sing, was completed before she was a contestant on 2005's RockStar: INXS, the television search for the Australian band's new frontperson, and only now has she released it.

"I was really determined to have Rockstar: INXS not be my legacy,"
explains the Toronto-based singer-songwriter. The television production pursued Slone to be on the show and it was an opportunity she felt she could not pass up, so she put her album on hold.

"It never would have crossed my mind in a million years that there would be a possibility of being the lead singer of INXS," Slone says. "But television is so powerful, more powerful than ever in terms of launching people's music careers."

Slone's music career didn't need launching. As the lead singer of the now defunct rock group Joydrop, she released two albums, 1999's Metasexual and 2001's Viberate, and is perhaps best known for the single "Beautiful," which had chart success in the America as well. Another single, "Sometimes Wanna Die," featured Tommy Lee in the video.

Just look pretty and sing
Many of the songs on Just Look Pretty And Sing, which she co-wrote with her producer Jordan Zadorozny (who has also worked with Hole and Melissa auf der Maur), have to do with love in some respect, whether romantic or friendship. On "We Were Stars," the current single, the singer feels the loneliness of going it alone as a solo artist and misses the support of her former bandmates. On "For Kate," she responds to a painful letter she received from the ex-girlfriend of her then-boyfriend. "'Sally Gets High' is not a love song," Slone points out. "That's just about living a life of debauchery."

For the record, despite being in a rock band, Slone has never lived a debaucherous lifestyle. She does drink, but recently quit smoking and meditates on a daily basis and goes to the gym. Now on her early thirties, she looks terrific, and the title of her album is a tongue-in-cheek response to those tactless clods who feel it's okay to make remarks on her appearance rather than her music.

"It is a direct quote," Slone reveals. "It wasn't a joke. There are two sides to it. I¹m no stranger to this industry and I know that looks and public perception have everything to do with this whole game.

"I would just find on the road, I would go into an interview and the radio DJ would be like [adopts gruff salacious voice], 'Oh God, you're really hot.' And it's like, okay, I appreciate you saying that and I'm glad and lucky, I suppose, but I would rather talk about music first and be perceived as a musician and writer."

- ElleCanada.com


Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Section: Life
Byline: Eric Lewis CD spins

Eric Lewis rates his music reviews on a scale of one to five, with (H) equivalent to a poor rating, (HH) fair, (HHH) good, (HHHH) very good and (HHHHH) excellent.

Tara Slone
Just Look Pretty And Sing
Orange / Universal
(***)

You might remember Halifax's Tara Slone as the sexy lead singer of '90s rockers Joydrop ("Sometimes Wanna Die"), or you might remember her as one of the finalists on Rockstar: INXS. Well, she's back again for a third time, this time on her own. She kicks it off in fine fashion, with a poppy and polished rock album written mostly by Slone and writer/producer/musician Jordon Zadorozny (Blinker The Star, appeared on recordings by Sam Roberts, Mandy Moore and Melissa Auf Der Mer). The only exception is a sexy, rockin' cover of David Bowie's "Suffragette City".

Just Look Pretty and Sing kicks off with the catchy rocker, "My Little Secret". Two tracks later is the single, "We Were Stars", a ballad about looking back on past accomplishments or loves - there's a definite call-back to her former mates in Joydrop - "'Til the joy drops again". It's a highlight of what is a pretty solid album. Two of her former bandmates, Tom McKay and Tony Tabalao, join her for a few tracks on this album, and she even covers Joydrop's angst-filled "American Dreamgirl". "For Kate" is a sweet little power chord pop tune. Wrapping things up, there's a French version of "My Little Secret" at the end of the disc.

While the music here is typical radio pop-rock, it's done with passion and done pretty well. I should give you something to rock out to for a while in a more polished Bif Naked sort of way.

Eric Lewis
Life & Times Reporter
Times & Transcript
- Times & Transcript (Moncton)


Halifax-raised Joydrop singer, Rock Star hopeful front and centre
By STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment Reporter

The title of Tara Slone’s new CD, Look Pretty and Sing, sounds like the sort of thing you could imagine a bandleader saying to Peggy Lee in the ’40s or maybe a producer to Nancy Sinatra in the ’60s, but certainly not in these enlightened times?

It turns out the times have yet to achieve enlightenment.

"It is something that somebody said to me, yeah," says the Halifax-raised rocker, preferring the source of the quote remains shrouded in mystery.

"Unfortunately it was someone close to me, and it stung, that’s for sure. But it just encompassed a real part of the attitude towards women in rock and roll.

"Not that I’ve had to fight for emancipation; it’s not like this big mountain to climb. But on the other hand, I’m certainly outnumbered. It was really drawn from my experience travelling around the U.S. doing promo and interviews, and the first thing half the DJs would say was, ‘Omigod, yer so hawt!’ That’s fine, I understand there’s marketing and sex sells and it’s a packaged thing, but I do consider myself an artist and would rather talk about music."

After moving to Toronto in her late teens, Slone first came to the public’s attention with Joydrop, which found success at rock radio at home and in the U.S. with singles like Beautiful and Sometimes Wanna Die.

But then she became a top 10 finalist on Rock Star: INXS, which ultimately chose New Glasgow-raised J.D. Fortune to take the place of the late Michael Hutchence in the Australian pop-rock band. Luckily, her Joydrop experience left her a little better prepared for the kind of insanity that surrounded Rock Star: INXS and the rabid following the show attracted.

"When Joydrop first came out, it was the height of Howard Stern and the shock jock mentality," she recalls. "I actually had this experience in Orlando, where one of those guys ran out of things to say, totally at a loss, and just comes up with, ‘So . . . how big is your vagina?’

"That was just it for me, it so exemplified this world. I mean, if Korn went in there for an interview, that’s not what they’d be talking about. So why am I in a different category?"

New Slone songs like We Were Stars, The Perfect Girl and American Dreamgirl seem to directly address her Rock Star experience, with pointed lyrics about not fitting into an easy pigeonhole. But in this case it was more like life imitating art, as much of the record was written before she checked into the show’s Paramour Mansion.

"I have to pre-emptively say that I don’t regret having done it, but I am very determined for that not to be my legacy," she says.

"But I went into it hoping my songwriting skills would be more taken into account, and that it would be less like a karaoke-style competition. But yes, that experience also influenced the title of the record.

"They missed all the beautiful stuff. For us, it was real life, we were living together, it was a tremendously creative group of people, for the most part really talented and really cool. We hung out and wrote songs and played music, and that was the stuff to me that was the priority."

Produced by Blinker the Star’s Jordon Zadorozny, Look Pretty and Sing is a mix of tough modern rock with a touch of glam—including a cover of David Bowie’s Suffragette City—although the softer side comes through on the next single We Were Stars, which features strings by Halifax’s Chris Church.

But finding a focus wasn’t that simple after the turmoil of Rock Star.
"Yeah, I had to regroup," she sighs.
"I’d been living in a bubble for a period of time, and I had to ask myself a lot of questions. Not a lot of people find the transition simple, but I had this album almost done before I went on the show, and it probably made it clearer to me that doing this was where I belonged.

"I definitely needed some time to think and process and digest; it was weird changing universes."

One changing universe was the world of rock and roll radio. When Joydrop formed in the mid-’90s, there was room for artists like Hole and Liz Phair, with woman-centric bands like Babes in Toyland and L7 finding homes on major labels. From Slone’s perspective now, modern rock appears to have taken a giant step backward.

"Maybe there aren’t as many women doing it, but there probably are and they’re just not accepted by the mainstream," she says. "If you listen to rock radio, there are not a lot of women on there and it’s too bad.

"I’d like to see a change, which means getting out there and doing it. Even with Joydrop, it took a few key industry people to latch onto the band and get us on the air. But we were beating down doors for a year."

Once she gets her band together and out on the road, she shouldn’t have do any break and enters.

- TheChronicleHerald.ca


ENTERTAINMENT/HFX
MUSIC
Thursday, April 12, 2007

DEAN LISK

Tara Slone is the first to admit she wanted to get out of Halifax after graduating from high school. Now, she loves coming back home.

"It grounds me," the singer said. "I found my niche in Toronto; I found some really good friends and an unparalleled musical family. But, I could never envision myself living there long-term, and I am rooted to coming back to Halifax."

Slone was here recently to promote her new CD, Just Look Pretty and Sing. It is her first solo release since the demise of her band, Joydrop, in the early 2000s, and since her days as a contestant on the show Rockstar: INXS.

"There is a supportive energy in Halifax," the singer said during breakfast at the Ardmore Tea Room. "It just feels like home here."

Slone's time in the city is stamped on her album, which features special thanks to a number of supportive local residents, and a quote from Shambhala Buddhism founder Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Her parents moved to Halifax with other members of the religious group.

"Sadness is the vanguard of bravery," the prominently placed quote reads.

"It is not referring to sadness in terms of the depth of misery, but more that in order to be warrior in the world, you have to access your heart," she said. "For me, music is and should be about genuineness."

Work on the album began after Joydrop dissolved, but really took off when Slone met music producer Jordan Zadorozny. He invited her to his Pembroke, Ont., studio, and the two began collaborating on material.

The album fluctuates from ballads like Adore to rockier songs like We Were Stars and American Dreamgirl - which also appeared on a Joydrop's last album. The song chronicles ideas about beauty in the media, from air-brushed magazine covers to being referred to as "honey" by music execs.

"Particularly as a woman it has been difficult in the rock music world," Slone said.

Joydrop's lyrics were constantly being deconstructed by fans, and attitudes about women in rock - with the focus more on her looks than ability - were common.

There was also a failed business relationship with a well-known Canadian record producers, and "that TV show," where she was criticized weekly for how she sounded and presented herself on stage.

"There is no 'woe is me' in terms of the music industry. But it is a hard place to put yourself out there for the world to examine and criticize and critique," she said. "I have been fortunate. I feel like I am a pretty strong person, so I can stand up for myself."

www.hfxnews.ca
- Halifax News


Album Review
by: Nicholas ?

Tara Slone
"Just Look Pretty and Sing"

Having survived the reality show 'Rock Star: INXS' as a contestant, Slone, a Montreal-born singer and actress (La Femme Nikita), has emerged with a formidable solo debut that mixes scorching hard rockers and sultry, thoughtful ballads. Clearly, she's learned some lessons along the way. When she sings, "Hey mister music/My name's not honey/Don't call me dear/My eyes are up here" on "American Dreamgirl," she's sticking her stiletto heel in the face of industry sexism. - Hello!


Wednesday
March 21, 2007
by: Robert Mersereau

Tara Slone
"Just Look Pretty and Sing"
(Orange)

No soft dance-pop here, this is back-to-the-basics rock from a Nova Scotia native, Working at Sam the Record Man gave her the education to pull out a blazing cover of Bowie's Suffragette City, and the smarts to know how to mix it up. There's full-out loudness, some power-pop and an occasional softer track, but it's all focused on her true strength - a capturing voice.

Pretty? Pretty spunky.


- Telegraph Journal (Halifax)


Thursday
March 8, 2007
by: Nina Dragicevic

Ex-Rock Star contestant releases solo debut CD. Singer Tara Slone's debut solo album, Just Look Pretty and Sing, is the work of a seasoned rocker who admits, "I'm still not even that tough."

Just Look Pretty And Sing is the name of Tara Slone's debut album. She nails the singing part - although this raven-maned rocker rarely shies from an opportunity to growl out a verse - and as for the pretty, well, it's a rather limp understatement.

The title was inspired by what someone had actually said to Slone and it's not a story she likes to retell. While perhaps dismaying, it's unfortunately not so surprising for a young woman in the testosterone-fulled world of rock 'n' roll.

"Women in rock are still struggling for equality, unfortunately," she says, "You Listen to rock stations and it's dominated by men. But it can be an advantage and a disadvantage - it can be harder to get played on the radio but, then, you're one of few. And on tour I felt that I could prove that I was up to par."

When it came to her bid to front an international rock band on Rock Star: INXS, however, Slone feels being born the fairer sex may have ultimately cost her the title.

"From the start, it was pretty obvious they weren't open to having a woman front person and, in retrospect, I can see why," she says, shrugging off the disappointment. "I mean, Michael Hutchence was a sexual rock icon and wrote a lot of songs about, you know, chicks. I think their fans were not receptive to having a woman leading the band."

The fateful defeat later developed into a personal victory for Slone, who says she came out of the experience with "a renewed sense of determination," and its ultimate manifestation - a solo album.

"Would i do it again? No, Ami sorry i did it? No, "she says. "Doing my own thing was the right thing for me."

Having already made the rock star rounds fronting the edgy pop/rockers Joydrop, Slone teasingly calls herself "seasoned" - and her album shows it - but that doesn't translate into a rough 'n' tough rocker chick persona.

"I'm still not even that tough," she says frandly, without a hint of self-consciousness. "Sometimes you have to have a thick skin but it's still a struggle for me, I'm a sensitive person."

And then, in a refreshing twist on vulnerability, her tone suddenly climbs into a certain defiance. "But I don't even want to be tough," she says, "I don't think you have to be tough to prove that you can rock."
- Metro (Toronto)


Discography

Tara Slone "Just Look Pretty and Sing" /Released March 6, 2007
The Orange Record Label/Universal
Produced by Jordon Zadorozny

Joydrop "Viberate" /Released April 12, 2001
Tommy Boy Records/BMG
Produced by GGGarth and Joydrop

Joydrop "Metasexual" /Released April 8, 1998
Tommy Boy Records/BMG
Produced by Ron St. Germain

FACTOR

Independent Loan 2003
“Just Look Pretty and Sing”
TSLo Records
Produced by Jordon Zadorozny

VideoFACT & PromoFACT Awards

2004
“My Little Secret”
Dsquared Productions

2006
“We Were Stars”
Soft Citizen

2006
www.taraslone.com
website grant

VIDEO AIRPLAY

“Beautiful”
1999, 2000
Medium Rotation at Much Music
Heavy Rotation on MTV2 (USA)
Featured on MTV (USA)

“Sometimes Wanna Die”
(featuring Tommy Lee)
2001, 2002
Heavy Rotation at Much Music and Much More Music
Reached #1 at Much More Music December 10, 2001

RADIO AIRPLAY

“Beautiful”
1999
Reached #13 on Billboard Modern Rock Chart
Top 20 on Canadian Modern Rock Chart

“Sometimes Wanna Die”
2001
Top 10 on Canadian Modern Rock and Pop, and A/C charts
Top 5 on Quebec Pop charts

“My Little Secret”
2006
Currently charting on Canadian Modern Rock and Pop
French and English versions

AWARDS/NOMINATIONS

Nominated for “Best New Group” (Joydrop)
2002 Juno Awards

Winner of “Best New Group – Pop” (Joydrop)
2002 CRMA's

Winner of the Rock Category
International Songwriting Competition 2003
“We Were Stars”
Tara Slone/Jordon Zadorozny

TELEVISION (selected)

Co-Host – ET Canada “Road to Rockstar
Following contestants for Rock Star “Super Nova”
Fall 2006

*Top 10 Finalist on “Rockstar: INXS”
CBS/Global TV, 2005

The Mike Bullard Show
Featured on CNN
NHL Anthem Singer (Hockey Night in Canada)
Over 15 appearances on TSN's “Off the Record”
Recurring role on “La Femme Nikita”
Special Correspondent for CTV's “Etalk”
Regular Correspondent for Global's “ET Canada”
Host of Global's “Road to Rockstar”
Recorded and performed in the video, “Song for Africa”

PRESS (features)

Chart Magazine
Flare Magazine
Razor Magazine
Billboard Magazine
Spin Magazine
Tiger Beat
The National Post
The Toronto Star
The Montreal Gazette
NOW Magazine (Toronto)
Capital City (Ottawa)
The Georgia Strait (Vancouver)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Tara Slone
Just Look Pretty and Sing
Official Bio – Winter 2007

Here's a gnarled but handy homespun metaphor – to best study the surface of something, you must sweep aside all the stuff on top. It holds true in life and it holds especially true when considering the deeply personal, fiercely rocking new release from singer/songwriter Tara Slone, Just Look Pretty and Sing.

Since Slone's career is already jammed with achievements and accolades (and some pretty snappy anecdotes), it's easy to be distracted from the story at hand. So to better focus on the new record, which Slone describes as "My baby… something that means the world to me," let's address a few things straight off and move on:

• Yes, the information you read on the world wide web is (mostly) true; Tara is a Montreal born, Halifax bred, classically trained, Buddhist , poutine-loving Habs fan who worked in the classical department of Sam the Record Man all through high school

• Yes, Tara Slone was the commanding voice of critically acclaimed pop/rock combo Joydrop. No they're not together anymore (record label woes, not bad blood) but the experience was defining and exalting

• Yes, Tara Slone was that dynamo, Sabbath-and-Bowie-belting chick (a finalist actually) on Rock Star: INXS. No she didn't win but she's fine with that. Really

• Yes, the album's title was inspired by a true-life comment made to Slone by someone she thought she knew. Yes it hurt like hell but it got her reflecting and songwriting. And no, she doesn't want to talk about it

Right, let's proceed. Almost three years in the making and built on a bedrock foundation of words and music by Slone and Jordon Zadorozny (Hole, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Blinker the Star), Just Look Pretty and Sing pits sheer rock ballast against knowing lyrical nuance, abiding melodic sensibilities against ferocious guitar squalls.

That alone would make for a righteous rock record. But add to the mix Slone's sometimes gritty, sometimes angelic classically honed voice – an instrument of dazzling power and elasticity – and the result is nirvana. Not for nothing is Slone considered one of contemporary rock's most inimitable performers.

"This record is just so meaningful for me. I don't want to rate it as more meaningful than Joydrop because Joydrop really informed this album," Slone allows. "But this is my baby and it means the world to me. I put my heart and soul into it and put my proverbial ass on the line," she cracks. "This is me, exposed."

Whether she's wailing, as she does (in both French and English) on the album's snarling, blustery focus track, My Little Secret, or soaring high above the action in the poignant Adore, Slone's voice is the lifeblood of each song. If further proof of her exquisite command of a song is needed, consider Slone's brash take on the David Bowie chestnut Suffragette City. She effortlessly achieves the perfect balance between homage and reinterpretation.

"It was a song I performed on Rock Star: INXS," Slone explains. "I love the song, I love Bowie and it just seemed like a good addition to the record. We kind of took it and made it our own so it's not exactly like the original."

As for the rest of the album, Slone says, "I tried very hard to write music that I love and to come from an honest place. Because this record came together over a long span of time, there was a lot of space for introspection. And this was the first time I felt very comfortable writing.

"In Joydrop we were four songwriters writing and I didn't necessarily always feel invited to participate in that way. So this record was very freeing for me. And for most of that time I was in a fairly intense relationship so…," she laughs, "that always helps."

There's little doubt that Just Look Pretty and Sing would have been a different beast were it not for the profound involvement of Jordon Zadorozny, who served as co-songwriter, producer and studio player plus muse of sorts.

Take, for example, his peripheral but lasting impact on the song, The Perfect Girl, which Slone describes as "my ode to Hall & Oates and the Honeydrippers.

"That was one of the magical things about working with Jordon. He's just got such eclectic tastes. We were listening to all kind of different stuff and revisiting stuff I might otherwise have discarded like Hall & Oates who I came to love.

"Jordon and I go way back," Slone continues. "We both lived in Montreal in the early 90s and had friends in common. We didn't know each other but we knew of each other. I discovered him when Blinker the Star came out and was awestruck by his talent.

"Then a few months after Joydrop broke up (in late 2002) and I was starting to think about co-writers, I ran into Jordon at a show. He was totally open to the idea of doing some writing with me so I headed to Pembroke, Ontario where he's based and it just clicked."

Slone's Joydrop-era fans will find several touchstones on Just Look Pretty and Sing.