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The Soul Sessions

360 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 16, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Not every 16-year-old white, English girl can hang with the likes of Betty Wright ("Clean Up Woman") and Angie Stone. Joss Stone (no relation), however, is blessed with a strong voice and a will to sing old-school soul. This debut CD is worthy of more than novelty status, though. Wisely avoiding iconic songs by the genre’s biggest names, Stone and a production team that includes Wright opt for lesser-known tunes more often by the likes of Laura Lee, Joe Simon, and the Soul Brothers Six--not to mention their digging out (with guest co-producer ?uestlove from the Roots) the great soul lyric in the White Stripes’ "Fell in Love with a (Boy)." Joss Stone occasionally misses a connection; her "Some Kind of Wonderful" is listless, and when she develops a bit more subtlety, it’ll be welcome. But The Soul Sessions has a spark beyond the album’s obvious good taste. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 16, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B0000C0FKA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (360 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,609 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 197 people found the following review helpful By guillermoj on October 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Those of you who have heard this amazing talent probably know that Joss Stone is a 16-year old blonde hailing from Great Britain and that she allegedly is the real thing, blah, blah, blah..
Guess what? She is more that the real thing. Yes her voice is amazing as is her interpretation of songs that no one in her peer group (or older comporaries for that matter) could touch. No over the top hystrionics to "prove" the she can sing (hello, Mariah, Celine, early Christina, and almost every "American Idol" contestant who manages to carry a tune.
This debut is on fire! Playing up the old-school R&B flavor in her music, Stone was signed by S-Curve Records and brought to the US to work with Betty Wright, best known for her 1972 hit "The Clean Up Woman". Wright recruited key musicians to rekindle the fire of old school soul with an amazing collection of REVAMPED covers that Stone immediately makes her own.
I was very skeptical before buying this CD (which by the way is a bargain almost everywhere selling for half the $ of most current releases) as critics tend to want to find the next best thing and hype a good thing into something that it is not. This is not about hype as Stone has a smoky voice that reeks of a hard-lived life, which only shows that a great interpreter need to not have experienced what she sings about to make you feel it all the way down to your soul.
Stone's record company felt that it was best to drop this release of covers over a formal debut album of original material and I could not agree with their decision any more than if I had made it himself.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Edward P. Hodder on October 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I don't think we're not talking record of the year here but The Soul Sessions is a gem.
Once you get past the talk about this CD and go beyond a casual listening it's obvious that Joss is a modern singer. But she reaches back and pulls these songs forward with her interpretation and makes them her own. Eva Cassidy comes to mind and you'll hear her voice more than once, especially when Joss is belting it out in the upper ranges. It is not a perfect effort but she makes me listen to every breath, bend, and silence and can tug at your heart. She has all my attention and I'm looking forward to what comes next, especially with her own material.
The CD is about more than Joss and the story behind it is well worth looking in to. This 350 rpm disk will make a lot of more mature (older) people smile as they handle it and thumb through the book. The musicians are spot on and a joy to hear. The production is spare and actually lets you listen to the musicianship. All the elements here come together--singer, musicians, music, production, packaging, and pricing--to create a perfect storm that shows up everything that is wrong with the music industry today. The Soul Sessions matters in a way that music used to matter and noone should think twice about picking up a copy.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Hello, I'm a 29-year-old black female and I think Joss Stone is the best female vocalist to come along since Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Right now, Joss is the best. She's looking like a real contender to join the vocal elite.
"The Soul Sessions" is an excellent start for her. It's quite impressive. Hard to believe this big voice is coming from someone who is only 16. Sound familiar??? Every time I listen to Josh Groban, I can't believe he's only 23. These young guns are really raising the bar and it's about time.
I only hope that less emphasis is placed on her being white. Joss' voice is more than good enough to sail this ship. It's not necessary for MTV to run a Miramax-style ad campaign. Sometimes if you push too much, you can turn people away. Joss is the real thing. All of that stuff just becomes a distraction and takes away from what's important, her singing. I even thought MTV was crazy when they mentioned her name in the same sentence as Mariah and Whitney. But they were on target. Although, you really need to hear her entire CD to draw that conclusion. Otherwise, it just sounds like hype. The clips that are provided on aren't worthy of her true talent. allows you to listen to clips from ALL of her songs and are of a much higher quality. So I would suggest checking the latter.
I've been aware of Joss for at least 6 months, but I didn't buy her CD until yesterday. I've played it straight through 3 times, and can confidently say that this is a definite must have. I hope her record label continues to be patient and support her because she's worth it. Joss is the best, she knows it. So her label better take good care of her. They've got something big. I believe in you, Joss. Your dreams WILL come true!!! It might not be easy, but hang in there.
Favorite Songs: #1 The Chokin' Kind, #2 Super Duper Love, #4 Victim of a Foolish Heart, #7 I've Fallen in Love with You, #9 All The King's Horses.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rich Latta on January 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I took a look at the "lowest rated" reviews of this album and had to laugh at all the stewing sourpusses on this forum. "Highly marketable white girl with blonde hair . . . the kind of voice that's a dime a dozen on American Idol . . ." None of those nasty quibbles change the fact that this is first-rate, upbeat, funky old-school-style soul music.

I bet if most of these whiners heard her voice, and had no clue she was a 16-year-old British girl, they would believe she was a seasoned vocalist at least twice her age. She's a fantastic singer that sings with real soul. Those who insist they can't detect a world-weariness in her voice like a Nina Simone or a Koko Taylor should still be able to appreciate her voice for what it is or just leave it alone and go listen to something that speaks to them. These people who claim Joss Stone sucks are only exposing their own pettiness. I sincerely doubt that people like Betty Wright or ?uestlove (drummer from The Roots) would bother working with her if they didn't think she had something special.

Every song here is great, but my least favorite is "All the King's Horses," simply because I don't care much for updated nursery rhymes in my music. My favorite is the bluesiest one, the stunning "Dirty Man" with stellar guitar performances by Angelo Morris on electric and Jimmy Farkus on acoustic.

Top notch, gorgeous, soaring, highly enjoyable music and highly recommended!
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