on September 30, 2004
Joss Stone calls this her first "real" CD, and by that I guess she means her first collection of mostly originally-penned songs. As was evident in "Soul Sessions", she has a wonderful voice, very expressive and soulful, honeyed and seasoned to sound about twice her seventeen years. And her friend and mentor, Betty Wright, is on hand throughout the recording as backup. But if I had to pick between the two, I would still be partial to "Soul Sessions." Part of the strength of that CD was her remarkably mature interpretations of some R&B chestnuts. On this release, her songwriting skills are commendable but unremarkable. Of course there are high points, especially "Killing Time", where she really pulls out the stops. But a lot of the musical and vocal stylings here sound like they begin to veer dangerously close to "pop diva" territory. Joss certainly is a looker, and it would so easy to market her that way. Let's hope she doesn't fall into that trap. (And one final note to the producers: A "hidden track" can be fun, but why have ten minutes of dead space preceding it?)
on October 9, 2004
I checked out "Soul Sessions" from the local library so I can hear Joss's rendition of the Isley Bros' "For the love of you", after hearing the excellent jazz cover by Hil St. Soul. What a delightful surprise, since all the tracks in the first album absolutely rock! Armed with the vocal appeal that would compare to recent greats Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, she complements the soulful, floating melodies of "Mind, Body, and Soul" (a la "Spoiled"). Top that with lighter, faster, funk-infused songs like "Dontcha Wanna Ride" and "Jet-Lag", and you've got yourself a real good vocal album.
I'm absolutley impressed with her voice; it is beautiful, profound, sensual, and somber, all at the right moments. She exercises great control (in the tradition of soul), and it helps you carry through the whole album. That's my biggest gripe about contemporary r&b/pop/vocal music, extravagant singing (e.g. Aguilera and the like) is too celebrated, and what ends up happening most of the time is it drowns out the rest of the song or album.
But Stone's album has that subdued quality, and her singing complements instead of overpowering the other elements in her songs. It makes for great listening, when you don't have peaks in the songs so much as a climbing through it, hearing Joss's voice dance with the organ and elec. guitar in the background.
All in all, a quality production. I hope to see more of her in the near and distant future; she's a breeze of originality to the mainstream scene. I think she'll do good for the soul genre (especially because she's not the usual).
One thing I would like to see happen is "Torn&Tattered" becoming one of the singles off the album. The funk factor is just too much on this one. . . From the play on the electric guitar to the resilience of Betty Wright's (& Joss's) backup vocals, to the phat drum breaks . . . and of course(!), credits to Joss Stone's amazing vocal gymnastics. I've seriously experienced some major involuntary shoulder, neck, and hip movement everytime I put this track on. Bravo.
This is the type of funky stuff that will define her as a premier artist (accent on the i).
on May 2, 2006
I would recommend adding Joss' CD to anyone's collection of soul music. I am disheartened with the haters who want to jump on the 'white girl stealing the black woman's sound' or 'she's too young to sing songs with real soul'. Listen to her music and ignore her color and age. She certainly has experienced love, loss, happiness and sadness, these are universal. "Mind, Body and Soul" has three songs out of 17 that I don't care for, but the tracks that really hit with me make up for that. "Understand" was the song I first heard and Joss' voice laid over the starting lonely arpeggiated guitar caught my attention and the careful addition of instruments and backing vocals as the song continues builds the energy and tension. Listen to the backing vocals and you know the production group understands soul. "Right to be Wrong" evokes Janis Joplin with a Gladys Knight vibe. "Jet Lag" speaks to the intoxication of love - years back Lisa Stansfield would have recorded this. "Spoiled" is a Slow Jam if I have ever heard one. "Don't Cha Wanna Ride" is just a feel good old school ditty laid over the "Soulful Strut" sample. I saw a reviewer on another site ask 'Why did they put a song about a car in the middle of the album?' - The guy needs to get a clue, the song is not about a car - it is a metaphor! The song is a girl shaking her hips and smiling. It makes me want to go buy a convertible and take my wife on a drive and picnic by the oceanside. Imagine my surprise when I watched the included DVD videos and the video for this song is set along a beach drive! "Torn and Tattered", "Killing Time", "Less is More" and "The Right Time" make my play list. Skipped tracks are "You Had Me", "God Only Knows" and "Call it Christmas".
I picked up this CD after catching the end of the video for "You Had Me", that was all I needed to hear. This CD is tight, Joss' vocals are smoky as she sings about love, heartbreak and independence. The vibe through the whole disc is SO cool, with the organs, smooth bass lines and Miss Betty Wright's background vocals - a perfect touch! I have been playing it non-stop everywhere, my favorite songs are the funky "Don't Cha Wanna Ride", "Jet Lag", "Killing Time" and sassy "You Had Me" - although there is really not a bad song in the lot. Joss is a welcome throwback to 70's soul and I look forward to hearing more from this talented young lady! Viva Motown!
on April 7, 2005
I won't review the album again since I already have but to comment on Ryan fr Detroit's racist post. This forum is supposed to be for those of us who actually bought an album or whatever item to give our OPINION about our like or dislike for the item - you however wasted precious life moments to review the previous ratings of posters who did not like the album and themselves posted racist comments about Joss Stone. You then added Fantasia to the mix and given the highly racist remarks about her - not about the album mind you but about her personally, maybe you can try to understand how sick r&b/soul music fans are of having some publicist/record company bean counter shove the next GWH singer down our throats simply because that singer is white and sings music other than pop.
Now I happen to like both of Joss' discs and oh my, I'm a Black woman who doesn't buy records based on the race of the singer, just according to whether or not I like his or her voice. Instead of wasting your time race-baiting, ignore those people, comment on the album, and ENJOY THE MUSIC. This world is hateful enough already.
on October 11, 2004
The greatest thing about Joss' music is that it breaks boundaries and stereotypes. With this album, Joss courageously moves forward on the path laid out by "The Soul Sessions." The result is classic. Very few 17-year-olds could have pulled of an album like "Mind, Body & Soul" so deftly and confidently. Not only does it take pure talent to make a small gem, but hard work and desire. You can tell from the first song, "Right To Be Wrong," that Joss has the desire to be great. R&B is always a challenge even for the most experienced because expectations are high. And Joss has no problems shattering any myths that may have been hanging over your head. I'm confident that Joss' music will be remembered for a long time. In her short 17 years, her contribution already stands out amongst some of her peers that are older in experience and age. "Sleep Like A Child" is the rare masterpiece that eludes most albums. No one can end an album the way Joss does. In this case, it is spectacular. But #15, the bonus track, is the most revealing. It showcases her voice in a way many are unwilling to.
If any album is deserving of being nominated for a Grammy, it's this one. If you don't have this CD, then you're definitely missing out. No one should have to travel this kind of road alone. So I hope people join her on what will be an extraordinary journey throughout her musical career. It will not disappoint.
on December 12, 2004
When I bought Joss Stone's debut album "The Soul Sessions" in June this year, I was impressed, but not blown away. The girl can sing, there's no doubt about that, but an album of covers only appealed to me partially. I wanted to hear her deliver the goods on her own material - songs written by her or for her, especially for that gritty voice that has wrapped itself around the world in a vice-like grip throughout 2004. Sure enough, Joss released her first album of original material and her second album to date in September 2004. "Mind, Body & Soul" is its title and it really is one of the year's greatest albums.
I bought this album in October and listened to it a few times, but it never really connected with me. I was kind of disappointed because I had such high expectations for it, when in the past week everything just fell into place! I realised that I hadn't been paying enough attention to Joss and the style of music on this album to truly appreciate it. She's only 17 years old and has one of the most accomplished albums of the year, and it's all because of those killer hooks and of course the iconic voice! She's become a superstar in the UK with two massive-selling albums and I'm sure her success will continue over the next few years.
The album opens with "Right To Be Wrong." I loved this song right from the start because it's so powerful and independent. It's similar to the opener of her debut album but has a more classy feel to it. "Jet Lag" is a gorgeous song where Stone sings about feeling physically airborne due to her elated feelings for the guy she loves. This song shows that she can pull off mid-tempo songs with sweet melodies and not just sticky ballads. "You Had Me" is the album's lead single and is a fast-paced hybrid of pop, rock, funk and soul. The bass races with Joss' relentless vocals, her voice filled with hatred and anger over her ex. "Spoiled" is Joss' personal favourite song from the album, and she's not wrong - it's absolutely beautiful. She sings with a passion that is unheard from most female artists about the love she has lost. "Don'tcha Wanna Ride" is another fantastic song with saucy lyrics and an irresistible chorus. I didn't like it much at first, but I adore it now.
"Less Is More" is another brilliant song with a hint of Reggae. The plodding beat gives this effect and Joss' vocals are very convincing as she sings of her latest boyfriend who won't leave her alone! She likes him, but he needs to give her breathing space. "Security" will be most fondly remembered for its choir-laden choruses and the point where Joss' vocals peak towards the third minute. It's a great ballad and definitely an album highlight. "Young At Heart" tells the story of how Joss' friends and family have deserted her because of her latest love interest. She doesn't care though, because he's perfect. The "Ooo"-ing in the song is very catchy and the chorus is very memorable. "Snakes And Ladders" is another one of my favourites on the album because of the heavenly "La-la"-ing that Joss does at the start of the song, after the first chorus and as the song is fading out. It's so beautiful hearing her voice in this tone and the topic of the song is also very original. She sings of how every time she thinks her boyfriend and herself are going places, he rolls the dices and slides down back to the start from No.99!
"Understand" is not one of my favourites on the album and the line where she mentions her iPod doesn't help either! She sings, "I keep our song on repeat on my iPod even when I sleep." Why?! How cheesy is that?! Still, it's probably the first song to even make reference to Apple's genius creation. "Don't Know How" is a great song that has a fast-paced beat and a catchy chorus, especially on the part where she sings, "Wanna make you mine!" Another one of my favourites is "Torn And Tattered," because Joss sings of being physically and mentally exhausted. The song itself is very upbeat and joyful, however, and the best part is where the backing singers repeat, "Riding the rodeo, up and down we go!" "Killing Time" is a mid-tempo song with a steady pace. It's a real grower, but not one of my favourites. The album closes with an exceptional song, however, and it's called "Sleep Like A Child." It has a slamming bass that is very mid-tempo. It's almost scary, representative of the night and incredibly atmospheric as the piano starts playing in.
OVERALL GRADE: 10/10
My opinion on this album has turned around 180 degrees in the past week. I really had no desire for it, but then once I listened to it I realised how amazing it is. Joss is very famous all over the world now, and she's British! Yay! It makes me proud to say some truly fantastic talent from the UK has cracked the States with such force. The Soul Sessions was good, especially with the superb "Are You Diggin' On Me?" but this album of original material runs circles around it. This became a massive No.1 in the UK and almost made the Top 10 in the US, proving how popular Joss really is. I'd recommend this album to anyone, I have no doubts about its appeal and popularity.
on September 30, 2004
Ok this cd is just great. Here is my ratings for each song.
Right To Be Wrong 4/5
Jet Lag 5/5 (very catchy up tempo song)
You Had Me 3/5 (an ok upbeat song)
Spoiled 5/5 (a great ballad. one of my favorites..love it)
Don't Cha wanna ride 4/5
Less is More 5/5 (good reggae feel song...very catchy)
Security 5/5(love this ballad expercially the end with the choir)
Young At Heart 5/5
Snakes and Ladder 4/5
Understand 4/5 ( love this acoustic's ballad)
Don't Know How 4/5 (nice upbeat song...love the live drums)
Torn and Tattered 3/5 (an ok song...like the drums on here)
Killing Time 5/5 ( great ballad..love the lyrics and live drums one of my favorites)
Sleep Like A Child 10/5 ( great great ballad...good lyrics with great vocal arrangement with ?uestlove from the Roots on Drums. Best song on the CD).
Hidden Track #15 3.5/5
I would highly recommend this CD to all those who like pure Soul/RnB. Thanks to Joss Stone I don't have to listen to watered down soul/Rnb songs on the radio. Joss Stone co-wrote almost all the songs with Betty Wright who also did some background vocals on all the Songs.
on March 16, 2007
As Joss Stone's debut album "The Soul Session" indicated, she is a phenomenally talented singer - with those soulful, throaty, gritty, powerful vocals of hers, it would be perfectly normal to be shocked that such a beautiful voice could come from the mouth of a 16-year-old teenage "white" girl from London ( hate that "white"/"black" categorization stuff). Sure, "The Soul Sessions" was just an album full of cover songs, so originality was naturally dire, but that was not the point - the point of that album was to establish Joss Stone for the truly gifted artist she is, as well as her vocal skills. And much like "The Soul Sessions", "Mind, Body & Soul", the follow-up album and Joss Stone's first album that consists of entirely original material, serves the same purpose in a different way.
Apart from appearances from Betty Wright and Steven Greenberg and others, the list of producers is relatively superstar-free, and the guest list is completely empty, further emphasizing the fact that this album is all about Joss Stone. Then there's the fact that she co-wrote over half of the lyrical content on this album, including the first portion of the whole album that elevates this album into greatness.
"Right To Be Wrong", the album-opening track, is easily the best track on the album. The strong lyrics, which obviously relate to the song title, are just as captivating and penetrating as Joss Stone's vocal delivery, and the minimalist piano-guitar production add to the raw appeal of the song. Naturally, highlights are still abundant - her youthful energy and powerful vocals enliven tracks like the summery retro-70's/80's-pop anthem "Don't Cha Wanna Ride" and "You Had Me", a funk guitar-driven kiss off to a negligent, money-scabbing, dope-sniffing ex-lover; "Jet Lag" is hypnotic and mellow ballad with its smooth instrumentation and Joss Stone's smooth vocals; piano-driven R&B/Soul ballad "Spoiled" is drenched with emotion and regret; and "Less Is More" is a semi-brutally honest ode to a lover doing too much to please her, the song's heavy sentimentality pleasantly lightened by Reggae-flavoured production.
Unfortunately, by the time we're past the cheesy R&B/Gospel ballad "Security" and the contrastingly beautiful ballad (and late-album highlight) "Young At Heart", the album's quality heavily wavers. "Snakes & Ladders" is ridiculously original with its metaphorical lyrics about a complicated relationship, and the song's slightly catchy, but the weak production brings the track down; "Don't Know How" feels lifeless, formulaic and devoid of the passion that Joss Stone usually (and naturally) brings to some of her other tracks; and album closers "Killing Time" and "Sleep Like A Child" are two dreary ballad that wear out their welcome well before the 5+ minutes are fully up.
Another fault to this album is its substance. Apart from "Right To Be Wrong" and hidden track "Daniel", a passionate ode to her previously incarcerated criminal brother of the same name, it's all about relationships - the typical cycle of love, hate, like, etc. in typical relationships.
Nonetheless, "Mind, Body & Soul" is a pleasing album that shows more promise from a truly talented individual. 3.5 stars!
5 Best Tracks (IMO):
"Right To Be Wrong"
"You Had Me"
"Young At Heart"
on September 29, 2004
Joss Stone has officially arrived. As a huge fan of her first album The Soul Sessions (which was actually supposed to be her demo), I eagerly anticipated the release of her sophomore effort, Mind Body & Soul. And boy was it worth the wait!
1) Right to Be Wrong - Probably my favorite track, the piano in the beginning is so beautiful and the lyrics are really powerful. The perfect way to open up the album.
2) Jet Lag - If you've ever been a little too much in love with somebody, you will definitely understand this funky and fun song.
3) You Had Me - The first single off the album and I can see why. This song is a little less soul and a little more attitude and a much faster paced song than we are used to from Joss.
4) Spoiled - A really sad song about being unable to get over a former love.
5) Don't Cha Wanna Ride - One of my favorites, if only this had come out during the summer! This song is so sexy and soulful I just can't get enough of it!
6) Less Is More - Has a reggae vibe to it. At first I didn't really like this song, but it grows on you. Give it a chance.
7) Security - Another really beautiful ballad from Joss, really showcases her voice especially towards the end as the song rises.
8) Young at Heart - LOVE this song! It has a very operatic beginning and the coolest melody. Very unexpected but it totally works.
9) Snakes and Ladders - Another slow song, not one of my favorites but also not really bad, it's worth listening to a few times.
10) Understand - Joss' voice is accompanied beautifully by a guitar. A really pretty song, I love the "Ipod" reference.
11) Don't Know How - This song will definitely get you tapping your feat. A very sultry song, Joss really shows off her voice on this one.
12) Torn and Tattered - The first minute or so it sounded a little generic but towards the middle definitely picked up speed. The chorus is what saves this song.
13) Killing Time - This song is so Aretha it's frightening! Definitely one of my favorites.
14) Sleep Like a Child - A really pretty song and the perfect way to close out the album.
**Bonus Track** Daniel - A touchingly raw song, a definite hidden gem.
All in all this album is a definite must buy for anybody who considers themselves a fan of real music. I only gave it four stars instead of five because I do think the pacing of the album is a little slow. I would have liked to hear a couple more uptempo songs, but all in all it's an awesome experience. And keeping in mind that Joss is still a teenager makes this CD even more amazing. Joss Stone is definitely an artist that is here to say, and she is staking her claim with this album.