12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2007
I held off buying this album after the bad press it got, but eventualyy gave in to my curiosity. It's true to say that this is definately not as good as her previous 2 albums. From the very first track you know that it's different to the previous 2 albums. Sometimes, it's different for the better. Tell Me Bout It, Girl They Won't Believe It and Put Your Hands On Me are really upbeat songs that are a joy to listen too. Likewise, Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now is absolutely fantastic, and never has Stone sounded so sexy and convincing. Arms of My Baby is ok too. But thats where nicely different ends, halfway through the album. After that the tracks are just totally forgettable, and don't really inspire, excite or move you in any way. I think the problem is that Stone has tried to become more mainstream. The vintage soul has been largely ditched, replaced by more pop and R&B style tracks. Apart from the tracks mentioned above , nothing seems original or genuine.Bad Habit has potential, but for some reason it just sounds dated, like something done by a Beyonce wannabe back in the early 2000s.
I would recommend you buy this album, if only for the first 5 or 6 tracks. The rest arne't bad, but they are just very forgettable and been there seen it done it. Hopefully her fourth attempt will be back to classic Stone.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2007
Now I'm the type of person who won't judge singers on their public image, behaviour, activities, etc. So whatever Miss Stone has done in the recent months has nothing to do with this review. Let me review her, by the merits (or lack) of this album and of her music.
There is absolutely no doubt that this young lady can sing. A remarkable voice with a myriad of untapped potential. The problem is-how come I'm not feeling any kind of internal emotion or artistic originality?!
It all boils down to the simple fact that Introducing Joss Stone's content is just flat, clichéd, uninspired and forced. Soul music is supposed to make you feel something, an experience which can hopefully help the listener to empathise with what is being sung. All I was feeling was a great sense of apathy and indifference. The unquestionable crowning piece of this album is Raphael Saadiq's shimmering production, which salvages it from becoming a full on travesty. Shame he doesn't have a more original artist to work with!
I know I'll probably be labelled as a 'hater' or words to that effect, but you know what? I have listened to Soul music long enough to know who's at the top of the pecking order and who's just a clone. Stone seriously needs to reconsider her future in this business. Take some time off and explore and research what Soul is, and hopefully she won't come back with another formulaic, R&B-Pop record.
For anyone wanting to hear some actual UK Soul, I'd recommend two artists, who are hugely ignored by music fans. Terri Walker's "I Am" and Floetry's "Floetic". They will probably instill a bit of real and valuable knowledge into the mindsets of some.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2007
I absolutely love Joss' older stuff, but this just doesn't quite match up to their standard. It's not a bad album, it does contain some good songs, and Joss' voice is gorgeous as ever. But i found it more hit and miss than the other two albums, when i bought Soul Sessions and Mind, Body & Soul i instantly loved every track on both. With this one there a handful of tracks that I do really like, but the others are just ok in comparison.
Tell Me Bout It is a catchy single, but its not the best song on here. The second half of the album is definitely closer to the Joss Stone stuff we know and love, Bruised But Not Broken and What Were We Thinking wouldn't sound out of place on the other albums.
If you're a Joss Stone fan, I don't think you'll love this the same way you did the others, but its not a complete waste of money (unless you're after something exactly the same as the first two).
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
You could forgive an artist's 3rd album being called "Introducing" if what was delivered was something special.
You could forgive an artist from making a fool of herself at the Brits if her new album proved to be something worth listening to.
You could forgive the "this is who I am as an artist" advertisements if the subsequent album showed any real signs of originality.
You could even, at a push, forgive the laughable, lamentable Vinnie Jones spoken word intro, as pathetically embarrassing as it is, if what followed it was anything even approaching decent.
As you might have guessed though, I'm not in a forgiving mood.
Let's be clear about one thing; Joss Stone can sing. That's not in doubt. And there is also no doubt that she's a good enough singer to save this album from being the absolute disaster it would be in less capable hands. But not even her superb voice can save songs as dull and as identikit as these.
And lyrically the situation is as bad. Much has been made (by the lady herself I might add) that this marks the first time that Stone has written most of her own lyrics and if we're being unfair you can tell. Yes she's still only 19 and there is nothing wrong with her writing from that level as such, but she's merely full of cliche's that would have been better off left unsaid.
Rapheal Saadiq is the main collaborator on the album and at times it seems like a shrewd move. Put Your Hands On Me is probably the highlight of the album, mixing, as it does, modern beats with a decidedly retro sound. Sadly most of his other production on the album seems intent on watering Miss Stone down to the lowest common denominator.
Which is a shame. There are enough numbers to get your toes dancing, but little that will stick in the memory once the CD is taken out of the machine and put back on the shelf. And that in itself is a huge sense of disappointment. Whilst her first two albums were hardly all-time-classics they showcased a great singer who would surely improve with age. Introducing seems to suggest that she's actually getting worse with age.
Joss Stone seems to be coming in for quite a bit of stick these days, at least some of which is undeserved. Sadly I can't see this dog of an album helping matters any. Perhaps that "classic" album which I once felt confident she could deliver isn't coming after all.
on 6 February 2015
In the music industry, more so now than ever before, marketing is more important than actual talent in attracting the attention of record companies and sales. This is how the Cheeky Girls were able to get a record deal and how every X Factor winner manages to top the charts with their debut singles, before generally vanishing into obscurity before they can release their second album or, in some cases, a second single.
In the lead up to the release of "Introducing…" it appears that Joss Stone forgot this. An appearance at the Brit Awards where she spoke with an American accent caused the tabloid press to come out against her and turning up late for a concert in London upset her fans. Making disparaging remarks about her two earlier albums was not a wise idea either and she left herself with a mountain to climb to win back press and public affection and so "Introducing Joss Stone" needs to be a great album to turn things around.
This is an OK album, but that's all it is. There are some great songs that remind you why Stone's first two albums sold more than a million copies and reached the Top 5 in the UK alone. However, after losing the marketing battle, this needed to be superior to both those albums to succeed and it simply isn't that good.
If you're a Joss Stone fan, this is worth picking up for the good moments, as maybe half of the albums 12 track and 40 minute running time will appeal to the existing Joss Stone fan. If you're new to Joss Stone, one of her earlier albums is a better place to start, as despite the title, this isn't the best introduction to her work by a long shot.
This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2007
I have always been interested in Joss Stone, her previous album attempts have pleased me but left me skipping tracks to get to the good ones. This album on the other hand will not disappoint. I have listened to it a few times now and my initial impression is that is an excellent soul/rnb album.
The album bursts into life with a Basement Jaxx-esque "Girl They Won't Believe" a brilliant opener, it then goes from strength to strength. It eventually slows down on track nine "Bad Habbit". However, i enjoyed every track and i am sure it will become one of my favourite albums in my collection.
A great effort, it is funky (god i hate that word), fresh, soulful and in places bitter sweet. Considering she is only 19 years old i am positive she has a remarkable future ahead of her. I would recommend this album to you if you enjoy old soul and motown such as the Supremes, Lauryn Hill and Marvin Gaye.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2013
CD and Delivery fine.
Bought this because I enjoyed Joss' first two albums.
This in the main was very disappointing. I would by girl Pop if Iliked it! I do not.I will make sure I get to listen before I buy any more of Joss' output!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Somewhere in the background of this record I swear I could hear a whisper. Sounds like A&R planning how to squeeze their commodity dry. I may be wrong, because it's difficult to discern much subtlety on this record above the din of the intrusive production. There are simply too many damn instruments competing for attention here, and they're mostly surplus to requirement.
Joss Stone is young, sexy, high-profile, and blessed with a voice in a million. It requires little embellishment.
I bought this record hoping for something new. I was partly encouraged by Vinnie Jones's opening paean to Change: by the sentiment, but not by the voice. And that's the last you hear of Change - I was reminded of Pink Floyd's line about Change and Cold Comfort on Wish You Were Here. This record is Cold Comfort.
Despite the rarity of the voice, Joss Stone needs something different: the voice needs innovation, not the obvious. Christina Aguilera could do this stuff blindfold, but Christina, or her management, has the smarts to vary the approach. There's nothing raunchy on Introducing like Dirrty (Put Your Hands On Me doesn't even get warm), nothing that rocks like Make Over, nothing seductive like Get Mine, Get Yours, and nothing with the belligerence of Fighter (apologies to all of those of you who consider Stripped, from 2002, prehistoric!).
Instead we are delivered a bland set of songs with a bit of Philly, a bit of (obligatory) Hip-Hop, a teeny bit of Motown, and too much of a kow tow to Urban. This includes the pronunciation of some of the words (yaouw - you; daoh - do; wichoo - with you). It's not big, and it's not clever. And it's like Stax never happened. This is homogenised, pasteurised, bleached-blond retro-modern soul for those who think Change is what you get when you buy a Diet Coke. There's nothing adventurous about it.
With the exception of Music, none of the tracks on Introducing have me even so much as tapping my feet, and some of the lyrics are agonising clichés - Bad Habit is only the worst of a very bad lot in that respect. I've read some reviews which mention funk, but if it's there it's well hidden.
What would be interesting would be if Stone could team up with another West Country musician, Seth Lakeman, and become Sandy Denny with soul. Or find herself a band like Big Brother and the Holding Company to help her live up to the Janis Joplin comparisons.
But certainly she is in need of some more worthy material - something on a par with the songs of Joni Mitchell - and of a producer without his hands stuck in the recycle bin.
In the meantime, we're stuck with a very disappointing Introduction. The only reason to buy this is to hear how poor material can devalue one of the best voices in pop.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2007
Having loved the first 2 albums from Joss Stone and having also seen her live, my personal expectations were obviously high for her third album. Unfortunately, despite a handful of good tracks on "Introducing...", I am still somewhat disappointed. I suppose the early signs were there - first single "Tell me 'bout it" is good but not great. The best tracks on offer here are on the first half of the album. Standout songs include Music (with Lauryn Hill), Put your hands on me, Girl they won't believe it and Tell me what we're gonna do now. There are some ok songs on the second half of the album, but some are also pretty forgettable. Proper nice is quite boring, and although Baby baby baby sounds quite catchy at first, it's repetitive chorus soon becomes annoying. Overall quite a good album, but definitely not in the same league as her brilliant second album MB&S.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2007
Sorry but this effort is appalling. Her first two albums were fantastic. There wasn't a single weak song on them. This, however, has only one good song on the whole album.
Looking at the 3 CD's in my hands right now, I notice something significant. The first two were produced by Betty Wright, Steve Greenberg and Mike Mangini. They were executive produced by Steve Greenberg. Now that is clearly a killer combination. We all know how good the first two albums were. Under their direction and ability to produce, we get brilliant results.
This 3rd album went a completely different way, and is much the worse for it. Firstly, Joss herself executive produced it. Always a bad idea, you can get too self-indulgent if you do that. Even The Beatles, U2 and other such legendary artists accept they need an executive producer. Unfortunately 4 years of being called a Diva has made Joss think she doesn't need one. I suspect the worst influence on this album might have been this person called Raphael Saadiq though. He co-wrote a lot of the songs and produced the album by himself. That was clearly a terrible decision.
What I normally do when I get a new album, is to rip the CD to mp3 and listen to the tracks several times. Once I realize I love a song the mp3 moves to my permanent music collection. Once I realize I hate a song, the mp3 gets deleted. Why keep it if you don't like it? Going through this process with her first two albums, I kept almost all of the songs. I might have deleted one from each album. Going through this new album, by the second pass through all the songs, I had deleted all but one song. The single song that was kept, and moved to my permanent collection, was "Tell me what we're gonna do". Guess who had nothing at all to do with that song. Yes, Raphael Saadiq.
This had moments of Christina Aguilera style wailing (and finding 15 syllables in each word), and moments of Janet Jackson style fall to sleep half way through the song because it's so boring.
First two albums: 10/10 ... This album: 1/10
I hope the next album will have some proper producers back on board.
While I'm here, I haven't enjoyed these live performances Joss has been making on events like "Live 8" and "Live Earth" and "The Diana 10 year concert". They're very self-indulgent with too much diva-esque jazzy wailings and she's covering obscure motown songs that the audience simply don't know.
After her first two albums, I thought Joss would have a very long and very successful career. I'm beginning to wonder now, unless she gets back on track.