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Music Shopper

Francis Jocky
Mr Pain

Something inside so strong

Our Rating: 72 out of 100

Where Paris´ leading daily newspaper, Le Parisien, hears ´Al Jarreau ´s successor´, my perhaps less finely-tuned lugholes suggest the new Labi Siffre. It´s Jocky´s sweet, soulful and at-times-Eiffel-Tower-high voice which elicits the comparison, along with his pop/soul leanings. Anyway, it´s a world away in sound from his birthplace - Douala, Cameroon - with only the closing verse of ´So Sad ´ sung in African rather than English tongue.

Francis left West Africa for France aged 15, where he and his brother formed Class with friend Patrick Dage. Later Jocky linked up with Yes ´ lead singer Jon Anderson , recording under the Know monicker. Whilst Francis enjoyed collaborating in both groups, he, in his own words, "learned that you have to do it yourself to have real control." And so, at the ripe old age of 36, comes Jocky´s debut album. This is one horse he´s riding alone. No need for a photo finish, Francis triumphs with Mr Pain.

Matthew Hirtes

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