Top positive review
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More Sweet Soul
on 6 September 2012
Truth-be-told I've had an on and off relationship with Joss Stone. There was
no doubting the raw talent captured in her 2003 debut 'The Soul Sessions'.
A young but extraordinary voice bound for some kind of glory. Her grasp of
the genre was remarkably sure given her tender years but the recordings
between her first outing and 'The Soul Sessions Vol. 2' certainly had their
share of ups and downs. The thin line between pastiche and the real deal
sometimes made it hard to believe that her early fervor could be sustained.
With 2011's 'LP1' however, Ms Stone, at least to my hairy ears, really hit
her stride. It was a truly captivating album, chock full of spontaneity, raw
energy and some very fine singing indeed. Its release was a pivotal moment
in my own belief in her true potential. My reservations evaporated entirely.
The new album gives me no reason to revise this view. This collection of
fifteen soul and R&B covers is, in many ways, her finest work to date.
Her immediately recognisable instrument is beautifully unforced; her
phrasing and fluid decoration of the melodic lines impeccably realised and
the affection for her material palpable. It's a well chosen and classy set.
Highlights would have to include her cracking interpretation of Eddie Floyd's
'I Don't Wanna Be With Nobody but You' with its warm brass arrangement
and stunningly articulated and believable emotion; her slinky rendition of
Linda Lewis's 'Sideway Shuffle'; a rip-roaring version of Barbara Acklin's
'Stoned Out Of My Mind' and her truly delightful take on Womack and Womack's
'Teardrops', full of light and shade and heartfelt pathos. A real winner!
Producer Steve Greenberg does a sterling job behind the console and clearly
understood what was needed to draw the best out of Ms Stone's remarkable gift.
I'm loving it!