Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Friday, October 07, 2005



    music: "Ever Blazing" by Sean Paul

    Okay, I know I praised Fiona and gave her all the life in the world a few posts ago, but the times they are a' changin.' On Tuesday, October 4th Apollonia and I trekked to Virgin Megastore to finally get our legal copy of Fi's latest CD Extraordinary Machine. As I said in my FIONA! post we got the jacket of the CD signed, but they would not give us the actual CD until October 4th. However, I had already downloaded all of the songs back in January and signed the FreeFiona.org campaign to release the album. The "leaked versions" of these songs were flawless, amazing with superb lyrics and a growling voice filled with angst and bitterness -- JUST THE KINDA WHITE WOMAN I LIKE!

    Being that the leaked versions were not completely finished I knew there would be some mastering, but I assumed … nothing extreme because the songs were classic Fiona, but seeming more evolved. Fi dropped Jon Brion as a producer (same guy who produced Kanye's latest album) and signed on Mike Elizondo, who should be dipped in honey, hung by his toes and let a family of wild grizzly bears lick him till he is skinless --THIS ALBUM IS AWFUL ...


    Fiona Plum has abandoned the passion she once had for this overproduced, but meant to sound organic, poorly done, minimalist bore that solidifies her lack of caring about music is finally coming to the forefront. Fiona has always said she just "shows up" and she accidentally fell into the music industry. However, when she got on stage or in a studio there were feelings inside of her that communicated to an audience... no feelings were communicated in this record. She seems to have given up on sustaining notes and resolves her voice to fast rambles and bouncing in her falsetto. The music is choppy and is poorly mixed/mastered.

    Worst of all, she took some of the most amazing songs from the leaked versions like "Better Version of Me," "Not About Love" and "Red, Red, Red" completely changing the tempo and melody. "Red, Red, Red" is a dark upbeat, morbid tune that was my favorite song on the leaked version. However, on the new album she turns into a fatiguing ballad with emotion that is empty as a broken crack pipe! The songs that I thought were extremely mediocre like "Waltz" and "Get Him Back" she barely touched. The leaked versions were filled with irony, sarcasm, angst, which was at society, relationships and even her record company (“Please, Please Please” was to Sony) -- now each song is stuffed with pure capitulation and trite compliance.

    Fiona Kiwi is still a lyrical bitch ... the lyrics haven’t changed -- only the voice, emotion and music. There were still moments I was amazed that these thoughts and ideas came out of this woman's head. For example, in "Not About Love" -- a song which was DEMOLISHED in the new version. With each second of the song I felt I was being raped and violated as I cried like a white woman in a Lifetime Movie! Fiona sings:

    Conversation once colored by esteem
    Became dialogue as a diagram of a play for blood
    Took a vacation, my palate got clean
    Now I could taste your agenda
    While you're spitting your cud


    Or in the haunting "Oh Well," which she butchered by making the song in a higher key forcing her to sound like Ashanti on heroin, she says:

    Oh what a cold and common old way to go
    I was feeding on the need for you to know me
    Devastated at the rate you fell below me
    My peace and quiet was stolen from me
    When I was looking with calm affection
    You were searching out my imperfections

    The only good song is “Parting Gift,” which is the one song that captures her essence and is not a contrived empty ditty that sounds like a raging lion who is now spayed. Like I said - some of these lyrics still gave me literary elite from the school of hard knock white girls and I loved it ... however, when coupled with the echoes of this broken machine … no ornamental words make up for the musical and vocal failure.

    This is horrendous!!! Fiona is my wife and I am officially filing for divorce! This is a terrible thing to go through --- when an artist that you adore comes out with this common gutter trash! Lawd... this must be how Toni Braxton and Brandy fans feel on a daily basis (uhh ... but ... this album is still better than ANY Toni "My Nose Job is About To Cave In" Braxton or Ray J.'s receding hairline of a sister!).

    I recommend everyone listen to the leaked version of this album and I deeply apologize to anyone who bought the album due to my raves about her from my previous post.

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    Posted by Clay :: 2:20 PM :: 17 comments

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