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R&B - Released January 1, 2005 | Virgin Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
On the cover of her debut, The Soul Sessions, Joss Stone's face is obscured by a vintage microphone, a deliberate move that emphasized the retro-soul vibe of the LP while hiding the youthful face that would have given away that Stone was a mere 16 years old at the time of the album's release. The point was to put the music before the image and it worked, selling the album to an older audience that might have stayed away, thinking that the teenager sang teen pop. If the debut was designed to give Stone credibility, her second album, Mind, Body & Soul, delivered almost exactly a year after its predecessor, is designed to make her a superstar, broadening her appeal without losing sight of the smooth, funky, stylish soul at the core of her sound. There's no radical revision here -- she still works with many of the same musicians she did on The Soul Sessions, including Betty Wright and Little Beaver -- but there are some subtle shifts in tone scattered throughout the record. Certain songs are a little brighter and a little more radio-ready than before, there's a more pronounced hip-hop vibe to some beats, and she sounds a little more like a diva this time around -- not enough to alienate older fans, but enough to win some new ones. The album has a seductive, sultry feel; there's some genuine grit to the rhythms, yet it's all wrapped up in a production that's smooth as silk. By and large, the songs are good, too, sturdily written and hooky, growing in stature with each play. While Stone has developed a tendency to over-sing ever so slightly -- she doesn't grandstand like the post-Mariah divas, but she'll fit more notes than necessary into the simplest phrases -- she nevertheless possesses a rich, resonant voice that's a joy to hear. She may not yet have the set of skills, or the experience, to give a nuanced, textured performance -- one that feels truly lived-in, not just sung -- but she's a compelling singer and Mind, Body & Soul lives up to her promise. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2003 | Virgin Records

Distinctions Sélection du Mercury Prize
Q: She's 16 and British, what can she possibly know about singing vintage American soul music? A: Enough to make you squirm, get off your ass, and dance close with anybody who'll have you. Joss Stone is a young woman who, if you believe the story, was about to record her wannabe pop smash debut and then be well on her way to becoming the next Britney/Christina. Then she heard some vintage American Miami soul made by the likes of Latimore, Little Beaver, Betty Wright, Timmy Thomas, and the like, and genuine inspiration took hold. The result of all this career changing (or diva postponement) is The Soul Sessions, a collection of ten badass soul classics recorded with all of the above folks -- soul princess Betty Wright and S-Curve's Steve Greenberg produced almost all of it in Miami, though a pair of tracks were recorded in New York with R&B wunderkind Mike Mangini and a souled-out cover of the White Stripes "Fell in Love With a Boy," guided by the Roots' ?uestlove (Ahmir Thompson) on the modern tip, was cut in Philly. These jams drip honey sweet and hard with tough, sexy soul, and Stone's voice is larger than life. It's true she's been tutored and mentored by Wright and her musical collaborators in the science of groove, but she keeps it raw enough to be real. Her reading of Harlan Howard's "The Chokin' Kind" reveals that it should have been an R&B tune all along -- check out Little Beaver's (Willie Hale) guitar solo. Her reading of Bobby Miller's "Dirty Man," a track associated with Wright, is gutsy and completely believable, and the interplay between Latimore's piano and Beaver's funky, shimmering guitaristry brings Stone's vocal down to street level. For a woman as young as Stone to tackle Carla Thomas' "I've Fallen in Love With You" and Aretha Franklin's "All the King's Horses," not to mention John Ellison's nugget "Some Kind of Wonderful," takes guts, chops, or a genuine delusional personality to pull off. Stone has the former two. She has unique phrasing and a huge voice that accents, dips, and slips, never overworking a song or trying to bring attention to itself via hollow acrobatics. The strings and funky backbeat provided by Thompson on "I've Fallen in Love With You" are chilling in the way they prod Stone to just spill a need out of her heart that one would believe would be beyond her years. And speaking of Thompson, his production of the Stripes tune is more than remarkable; it conveys Jack White's intent but in an entirely new language. The set closes with Stone's radical reread of the Isleys' "For the Love of You," a daunting and audacious task. The way she tackles this song, prodded only by Angelo Morris' keyboard whispering alongside her, is far from reverential, but it is true, accurate, moving, and stunningly -- even heartbreakingly -- beautiful. This is a debut that, along with those fine practitioners in the nu-soul underground such as Peven Everett, Julie Dexter, Yas-rah, Fertile Ground, and a few others, is solid proof that soul is alive and well. And perhaps, given her youth and stunning looks, the perverse star-making machinery will use this unusual entry into the marketplace to reinvestigate the wonders of timeless depth and vision inherent in soul and R&B that are far from exhausted, as this record so convincingly proves. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin Records

Before she’s truly freed from the shackles of EMI, Joss Stone must endure one final indignity: that standard end-of-contract ploy, a greatest-hits album, covering her six years with the label. Every one of her 12 singles for the label is here, with the Jamie Hartman duet “Stalemate” -- originally released on Ben’s Brother’s 2009 album -- added as a concluding track. If this doesn’t dig deep, it nevertheless hits all the highlights -- her White Stripes cover “Fell in Love with a Boy,” her Top Ten U.K. hit “You Had Me,” “Don’t Cha Wanna Ride,” her only charting U.S. single “Tell Me 'Bout It,” the Common duet “Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now” -- drawing a picture of the decade when Stone was always on the cusp of stardom yet never quite truly there. As introductions go, it’s a solid one, capturing her potential and promise, alternating between singles frustrating and fun. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released July 31, 2012 | S-Curve Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin Records

Typically, artists dispense with introductions after their debut -- after all, that is an album designed to introduce them to the world -- but neo-soul singer Joss Stone defiantly titled her third album Introducing Joss Stone, thereby dismissing her first two relatively acclaimed albums with one smooth stroke. She now claims that those records were made under record-label pressure -- neatly contradicting the party line that her debut, The Soul Sessions, turned into a retro-soul project after Joss implored her label to ditch the Christina Aguilera-styled urban-pop she was pursuing -- but now as a young adult of 19, she's free to pursue her muse in her own fashion. All this is back-story to Introducing, but Stone makes her modern metamorphosis plain on the album's very first track, where football-star-turned-Hollywood-muscle Vinnie Jones blathers on nonsensically about change ("I see change, I embody change, all we do is change, yeah, I know change, we're born to change" and so on and so forth), setting the stage for some surprise, which "Girl They Won't Believe It" kind of delivers, if only because it isn't all that different from what Stone has done before. It's a sprightly slice of Northern soul propelled by a bouncy Motown beat that doesn't suggest a change in direction as much as a slight shift in aesthetic. Gone are the seasoned studio pros, in are a bevy of big-name producers all united in a mission to make Stone seem a little less like a '60s blue-eyed soul diva and a little more her age, a little more like a modern girl in 2007. So, the professional in-the-pocket grooves have been replaced by drum loops, the warm burnished sound has been ditched in favor of crisp, bright sonics, Harlan Howard covers have been pushed aside for cameos by Common and Lauryn Hill. It's a cosmetic change that works, at least to a certain extent: Introducing does sound brighter, fresher than her other two albums, pitched partway between Amy Winehouse and Back to Basics Christina yet sounding very much like Texas at their prime, but it's all surface change -- beneath that shiny veneer, Stone suffers from the two things that have always plagued her: songs that don't quite stick and overly labored singing. Since Introducing is a production-heavy album, the lack of memorable tunes doesn't quite matter as much because this about sound, not songs, but the singing is a problem: it's at once too big and too small, as Stone pushes every phrase too hard but never winds up seeming like the larger-than-life figure she so clearly desires to be. That's the kind of persona that could sell music like this -- music that gets by on its stylized tweaking of classic conventions (as opposed to her previous album, which celebrated classic conventions without offering a structure to support them) -- but too often Stone comes across like a contestant on American Idol, a voice in search of the right sound and the right songs to truly make her into a star instead of being a star right out of the gate. Which means this introduction isn't all that different than her debut, since it still presents a promising vocalist instead of a vocalist who's fulfilled her promise. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Soul - Released July 31, 2012 | S-Curve Records

Joss Stone launched her career by singing soul standards so when it came time for a reboot she went back to the beginning, dusting off the old blueprint for The Soul Sessions and following it to a T, right down to replicating its title and giving a contemporary alt-rock hit a soul makeover. First time around, the intent was to prove that teenage Joss had soul bona fides, but in 2012 the purpose of The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 is to signal how she's done messing around with fleeting fashions and is getting back down to the real business. Stone doesn't dig deep into the crates this time around, nor does she stick to deep soul; she chooses to mine hits from the early '70s, favoring songs by the Dells, the Chi-Lites, and Sylvia, giving these smooth tunes a bit of a polished Southern spin. And "professional" is the operative word here: this is the work of seasoned veterans who play with every note falling neatly into place, stretching just enough to show off their chops but never enough to alter the DNA of a song. The exception to the rule is, of course, "The High Road," a Broken Bells song refashioned to sound old, thereby occupying the same space as Joss' White Stripes "Fell in Love with a Boy" cover did on the first Soul Sessions. This is the song to prove that Stone isn't living in the past but rather she's seeing the future through a retro prism that turns everything into something that feels classic. That Stone remains a bit too theatrical a singer, overemphasizing every phrase, is almost besides the point, as she's a diva and is expected to sing with more gusto than the song requires just as long as the overall package feels right. And, for the most part, The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 does feel right: it has the form and sound of classic soul while never acknowledging that R&B continued to develop past, say, 1972. For an audience that agrees with that thesis, this is fun. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Soul - Released November 13, 2019 | Stone'd Records Ltd.

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LP1

Pop - Released July 26, 2011 | Surfdog Records

Booklet
LP1 marks the third successive album from Joss Stone where she’s attempting to hit the restart button on her career, to usher in a new beginning for the neo-soul diva or, better yet, find the right setting for her considerable gifts. This journey began with 2007’s splashy modern R&B set Introducing Joss Stone, a makeover she rebelled against on her major-label kiss-off Colour Me Free, and now that she’s truly independent, she’s aligned with Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart for LP1, returning to the classicism of her earliest work. There is a difference. Stewart is naturally reluctant to present Stone in a strictly soul setting; R&B is the foundation, but he dabbles in tight funk, folk, blues, Euro-rock, and modernist pop, giving LP1 just enough elasticity so it breathes and just enough color so it doesn’t seem staid. Then, there’s Stone herself. She may still have a tendency to over-sell her songs, but she doesn’t sound like she is patterning herself after her idols; she’s developing her own style, somewhere between classic soul and the pyrotechnics of modern divas, her settings leaning toward the former and her phrasing the latter. LP1 doesn’t always achieve a balance between the two extremes, not to the extent Stone and Stewart desires, as some of the ballads are a little formless and some of the funk a little too restricted, while some of Joss’ posturing is a little affected, but it has more moments that work than anything she’s done since her actual debut in 2003. If this winds up being the first album of many that mine this style, LP1 will serve its purpose well. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released July 31, 2012 | S-Curve Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2004 | S-Curve Records

On the cover of her debut, The Soul Sessions, Joss Stone's face is obscured by a vintage microphone, a deliberate move that emphasized the retro-soul vibe of the LP while hiding the youthful face that would have given away that Stone was a mere 16 years old at the time of the album's release. The point was to put the music before the image and it worked, selling the album to an older audience that might have stayed away, thinking that the teenager sang teen pop. If the debut was designed to give Stone credibility, her second album, Mind, Body & Soul, delivered almost exactly a year after its predecessor, is designed to make her a superstar, broadening her appeal without losing sight of the smooth, funky, stylish soul at the core of her sound. There's no radical revision here -- she still works with many of the same musicians she did on The Soul Sessions, including Betty Wright and Little Beaver -- but there are some subtle shifts in tone scattered throughout the record. Certain songs are a little brighter and a little more radio-ready than before, there's a more pronounced hip-hop vibe to some beats, and she sounds a little more like a diva this time around -- not enough to alienate older fans, but enough to win some new ones. The album has a seductive, sultry feel; there's some genuine grit to the rhythms, yet it's all wrapped up in a production that's smooth as silk. By and large, the songs are good, too, sturdily written and hooky, growing in stature with each play. While Stone has developed a tendency to over-sing ever so slightly -- she doesn't grandstand like the post-Mariah divas, but she'll fit more notes than necessary into the simplest phrases -- she nevertheless possesses a rich, resonant voice that's a joy to hear. She may not yet have the set of skills, or the experience, to give a nuanced, textured performance -- one that feels truly lived-in, not just sung -- but she's a compelling singer and Mind, Body & Soul lives up to her promise. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Soul - Released July 31, 2015 | Stone'd Records Ltd

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R&B - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin Records

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Pop - Released August 21, 2012 | S-Curve Records

Joss Stone launched her career by singing soul standards so when it came time for a reboot she went back to the beginning, dusting off the old blueprint for The Soul Sessions and following it to a T, right down to replicating its title and giving a contemporary alt-rock hit a soul makeover. First time around, the intent was to prove that teenage Joss had soul bona fides, but in 2012 the purpose of The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 is to signal how she's done messing around with fleeting fashions and is getting back down to the real business. Stone doesn't dig deep into the crates this time around, nor does she stick to deep soul; she chooses to mine hits from the early '70s, favoring songs by the Dells, the Chi-Lites, and Sylvia, giving these smooth tunes a bit of a polished Southern spin. And "professional" is the operative word here: this is the work of seasoned veterans who play with every note falling neatly into place, stretching just enough to show off their chops but never enough to alter the DNA of a song. The exception to the rule is, of course, "The High Road," a Broken Bells song refashioned to sound old, thereby occupying the same space as Joss' White Stripes "Fell in Love with a Boy" cover did on the first Soul Sessions. This is the song to prove that Stone isn't living in the past but rather she's seeing the future through a retro prism that turns everything into something that feels classic. That Stone remains a bit too theatrical a singer, overemphasizing every phrase, is almost besides the point, as she's a diva and is expected to sing with more gusto than the song requires just as long as the overall package feels right. And, for the most part, The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 does feel right: it has the form and sound of classic soul while never acknowledging that R&B continued to develop past, say, 1972. For an audience that agrees with that thesis, this is fun. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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LP1

Pop - Released July 26, 2011 | Surfdog Records

LP1 marks the third successive album from Joss Stone where she’s attempting to hit the restart button on her career, to usher in a new beginning for the neo-soul diva or, better yet, find the right setting for her considerable gifts. This journey began with 2007’s splashy modern R&B set Introducing Joss Stone, a makeover she rebelled against on her major-label kiss-off Colour Me Free, and now that she’s truly independent, she’s aligned with Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart for LP1, returning to the classicism of her earliest work. There is a difference. Stewart is naturally reluctant to present Stone in a strictly soul setting; R&B is the foundation, but he dabbles in tight funk, folk, blues, Euro-rock, and modernist pop, giving LP1 just enough elasticity so it breathes and just enough color so it doesn’t seem staid. Then, there’s Stone herself. She may still have a tendency to over-sell her songs, but she doesn’t sound like she is patterning herself after her idols; she’s developing her own style, somewhere between classic soul and the pyrotechnics of modern divas, her settings leaning toward the former and her phrasing the latter. LP1 doesn’t always achieve a balance between the two extremes, not to the extent Stone and Stewart desires, as some of the ballads are a little formless and some of the funk a little too restricted, while some of Joss’ posturing is a little affected, but it has more moments that work than anything she’s done since her actual debut in 2003. If this winds up being the first album of many that mine this style, LP1 will serve its purpose well. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin Records

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Soul - Released July 31, 2012 | S-Curve Records

Joss Stone launched her career by singing soul standards so when it came time for a reboot she went back to the beginning, dusting off the old blueprint for The Soul Sessions and following it to a T, right down to replicating its title and giving a contemporary alt-rock hit a soul makeover. First time around, the intent was to prove that teenage Joss had soul bona fides, but in 2012 the purpose of The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 is to signal how she's done messing around with fleeting fashions and is getting back down to the real business. Stone doesn't dig deep into the crates this time around, nor does she stick to deep soul; she chooses to mine hits from the early '70s, favoring songs by the Dells, the Chi-Lites, and Sylvia, giving these smooth tunes a bit of a polished Southern spin. And "professional" is the operative word here: this is the work of seasoned veterans who play with every note falling neatly into place, stretching just enough to show off their chops but never enough to alter the DNA of a song. The exception to the rule is, of course, "The High Road," a Broken Bells song refashioned to sound old, thereby occupying the same space as Joss' White Stripes "Fell in Love with a Boy" cover did on the first Soul Sessions. This is the song to prove that Stone isn't living in the past but rather she's seeing the future through a retro prism that turns everything into something that feels classic. That Stone remains a bit too theatrical a singer, overemphasizing every phrase, is almost besides the point, as she's a diva and is expected to sing with more gusto than the song requires just as long as the overall package feels right. And, for the most part, The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 does feel right: it has the form and sound of classic soul while never acknowledging that R&B continued to develop past, say, 1972. For an audience that agrees with that thesis, this is fun. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Virgin Records

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Soul - Released December 11, 2020 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released March 6, 2017 | eOne Music

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Pop - Released November 2, 2014 | The Royal British Legion - Believe - Kartel