By Zoe Neocosmos
Joss Stone did it a second time. The beautiful Brit soul-singer released her second album Mind, Body & Soul on the27 September 2004 with an even bigger bang than the first albums release in 2003.
Unlike Stone’s previous album Soul Sessions which is primarily based on a soulful sound; Mind, Body & Soul branches out with tracks that take a modern RnB and yes, poppy taste. You Had Me is as upbeat as it gets on the album. With a saucy and sexy dance melody, Stone slides past the chance of becoming a pop-princess. Managing to do this by stretching the talents of her warm, rich, husky voice; she leaves little room for disappoint from her soul fans.
Having co-written 12 of the 14 songs on the album, Stone worked with music genius’ most artists would give their strong arm for. Guitarist Little Beaver and holdover Betty Wright both were part of the founding of the album, and it proves evident in the texture of the bluesy sound. The track ‘Less Is More’ further experiments by creeping its way into reggae premises. Stone has managed to cross into different genres, and still keep to her soul roots in some way or another. The diversity and maturity of the album show the renowned influences only adding intensity to the young woman’s already bright flame.
Stone has entered the category of a youngster taking up the role of a golden oldie. Growing up listening to music from the 60’s and 70’s, of artists such as Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin, can we blame her for having an old soul? On the track Understand, Stone sings ‘I keep our song on repeat on my iPod, even when I sleep.’ This is the one time listeners are made aware of the fact that we are listening to a teenager, that she is fact only 17 years of age.
Right To Be Wong. This smoky, lush, stirring track definitely takes the cup. With moving lyrics ‘I’m flesh and blood to the bone, I’m not made of stone. Got a right to be wrong’, feels like a genuine message to listeners. Giving authenticity in what she is singing. A further humble phrase ‘I may be singing out of key’ creates closeness. You’re not out of key Jossie dear, we promise.
Don’t Know How. Although the track is an RnB genre, it is the one track on the album that feels typical in terms of the melody and lyrics. There is nothing that stands out about it. It is quite simply boring in comparison to any other track. Acting as the biggest flaw in the almost perfect album.
Some soul formalists are not pleased at Stone;’a teenage’, ‘white- girl’ leading the role of soul in Britain today. However, she has proved simply to be exceptional at what she does. Her album cover emphasises this by displaying a distorted image of her face. Portraying that her outer image should not pre-determine her musical capability.
Spunky, stirring and grasping formed. Mind, Body & Soul is an enchanting display of this Music Diva’s vocal ability and song writing.