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Introduction At Third Album?,
This review is from: Introducing Joss Stone (Audio CD)
Neo-Soul Singer Joss Stone is not like others, she's white, she's British and born in 1987 she's young enough to be the daughter or even grand-daughter of the likes of Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross. But she's a young girl with a big voice and she always tried to be faithful to the original 60's soul without alot of adcanced productions like most others do. Debut album titled "The Soul Sessions" a album with only covers was released when she was only 16 and became a smash hit. Joss powerful soulvoice seduced millions of people and she had gained an audience and a great reputation almost instantly. Second album "Mind Body and Soul" followed the same trends of her debut but didn't have any covers included. However, all of the songs had the sound of 60's music even if they were newly penned originals, some even by herself. On her third album titled "Introducing Joss Stone" she claimes this is the real Joss Stone where she can finally do what she wants without record pressure and thus introducing the real Joss Stone as an music artist. This raises an interesting question though. What was the other critically aclaimed albums? and is this really that much diffrent from the other two?. The first question is impossible to answer unless you're Joss Stone but the second is simple if you've listened to this album. No, it really isn't that diffrent then her others. What makes it diffrent is that Neo-Soul singer/producer Raphael Saadiq produced it and thus introducing advcanced studio recording equipments instead of the session musicians with live instruments she used on previous albums. The sound is diffrent and much more modern now. obviously Ms. Stone wanted to apply to a younger more contemporary audience and sound like a girl from 2007 and not 1967 and give Xstina a run for the money.
It all starts with an cameo from ex-Football player turned actor Vinnie Jones about change, it may be good promotion but to me it sounds like nonsense if you want to be taken seriously. First song, "Girl They Won't Believe It" is surprisingly good and sounds diffrent from most of the rest here with a smoother sound, more fammiliar. First single "Tell Me About It" is another strong number, but quite repetitive. "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now" feautures Common and "Musiq" feautures Lauryn Hill and further gives evidence of a more modern Joss Stone with right on the spot cameos. Both of the two are great and from time to time I get an impression of how Joss wants to record an album simular to Lauryn Hill's. Most other songs along the way sounds like a mixture of her old 60's inspired music with a fresh contemporary sound. Song number 11 "Bruised by Not Broken" a soul-ballad written by Diane Warren is diffrent and also the closer "What Were We Thinking" which is a ballad aswell.
The problem with this album is simular to what she had in the past, not too many memorable songs and too much oversinging. Joss Stone's magnificient voice is normally what made the diffrent but with further songs that rely on a heavy production it sometimes feels like her voice is no longer in the spotlight, and even if she's great as always vocally it not always sufficient. The songs like I mentioned are all worthwile but too much on the rest goes into one ear an out of the other. She claimed this is the "Real" Joss Stone but it really isn't better then her past two records nor does she sound like a an grown up artists ready to be laucnhed but rather like an young artist in search of the right sound and songs. Saadiq makes a good effort in providing the sound, which is indeed fresh and modern, but it still lacks good memorable songs that can suppurt her voice. Instead we get an album heavy on production and oversinging that isn't the best way of introducing yourself, especially not when this is your third album and far from extraordinary. I believe Joss Stone will come back stronger with her next album since she is in the middle of a "search" and far from a complete product yet. She's a great artist with a wonderful voice but even the greatest of voices needs good support and that what this album is lacking.
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Initial post: May 1, 2007 4:18:23 PM PDT
D. Pawl says:
Joseph, I was all set to go to Joss' concert in Seattle, Washington. She will be here in less than a month's time. Thanx to you (and other critics), I am not going to waste my money. Now, Amy Winehouse on the other hand....well, that's on my list. Let's just put it that way. I noticed that Joss is a bit of a mimicker. She undoubtedly has great talent and ability, but is at the stage of life where she is truly searching for her voice (literally, and figuratively). Joss is young enough to do that. I wish her the best of luck.........
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