Joydrop with Tara Slone

Tara Slone, the Rock Star: INXS contestant who was eliminated during the fourth week, is the former lead singer of a defunct Canadian band called Joydrop. Joydrop released two albums: Metasexual in 1998 and Viberate in 2001. Metasexual is currently in print. Viberate is out of print but isn't hard to find; I was able to find a factory sealed CD with relative ease.

Metasexual at once sounds modern and retro-'80's. Musically, it has traces of '90's alt-rock and ambient sounds. But Slone's opera-trained vocals are more reminiscent of '80's hair bands like Heart and Vixen. Slone avoids the '90's "riot-grrl" trend almost completely. In fact, the lyrics of "Fizz" seem to poke fun of the '90's alternative mentality. A few songs ("Spiders", "All Too Well") hint at post-Alanis angst, but Slone bears more vocal resemblance to Pat Benatar and Debbie Harry on those songs. The unexpected mixture of '80's and '90's sensibilities makes Metasexual a unique and riveting album.

Viberate basically follows the same blueprint as its predecessor, but Slone's vocals are higher up in the mix, and the mood is a bit more somber. Slone's one songwriting contribution, "American Dreamgirl", is sung with an indignation that would make Morissette proud. Most of the writing was done by Slone's three male bandmates, and most of it is very good.

Now that Slone is out of the running on Rock Star: INXS, she plans to release a solo album soon. In the meantime, the two Joydrop albums are worth discovering.

Joydrop - Metasexual

Joydrop Metasexual (Tommy Boy TBCD 1237) 1998

Track Listing:

1. Fizz
2. Beautiful
3. Breakdown
4. Strawberry Marigold
5. Spiders
6. Dream Today
7. Cocoon
8. Over + Under
9. If I Forget
10. All Too Well
11. No One
12. Dog Star Radio
13. The Line
14. Until

Joydrop - Viberate

Joydrop Viberate (Tommy Boy TBCD 1416) 2001

Track Listing:

1. Thick Skin
2. American Dreamgirl
3. Sometimes Wanna Die
4. Life on the Sun
5. Swan Song
6. Replaced
7. Viberate
8. This Is Not Real
9. Expiry Dates
10. Do You Believe
11. Embrace
12. Metasexual