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Joss Stone

Introducing Joss Stone

The coming-of-age-young-urban-starlet is a wondrous thing to behold, isn't she? Well, no, not usually -- since in this day and age, we associate her with multiple piercings of her nether regions, embarrassingly out-of-it public appearances and a tendency to dry-hump everything in sight. Given all that, album number three for 19-year-old British vocalist Joss Stone is relatively sedate -- but only intermittently more satisfying.
It's hit and miss for Joss Stone, despite her big voice.
It's hit and miss for Joss Stone, despite her big voice.

When she and producer Raphael Saadiq hit, they hit big, pushing tempos beyond hip-hop's usual BPM. Songs like "Put Your Hands on Me" and "Girl They Won't Believe It" draw direct links to Motown, even as they maintain a contemporary sheen. At those moments, Introducing sounds like it's the bridge between neo-soul and modern R&B. But over the course of these 14 tracks, the sex eventually outlasts the melodies, leaving Stone's big, boisterous voice with little to do.

 
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