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JOSS STONE – MIND, BODY & SOUL – EMI MUSIC
Record Rating: ***

Joss Stone - Mind, Body & Soul - EMI Music Her debut album The Soul Sessions was an outright success, selling more than half a million copies with no radio play. Somehow, the then 15 year old appealed with her bunch of cover songs crafting a retro set that actually appealed to the teeny bopper and their parents as well.

Mind Body & Soul is the follow-up; powered once again by Stone's indelible Janis Joplin inspired vocals. After a Best New Artist nomination and sharing the Grammy stage with Melissa Etheridge for a spellbinding tribute to Janis Joplin at this years awards, the album has gone straight back into the top ten this week. The first big hit You Had Me, defiantly takes on the Black Eyed Peas with its heavy bass riff and gyrating hip-hop back beats. The 13 tracks have some genuine grit to them, but there is no one song that really stands out over the other. Spoiled is the new big single, and she exercises great control trying to emulate a bunch of her favourite soul or R&B singers. The most surprising thing here is the track Less Is More, which steals a reggae Jamaican back beat straight off a Bob Marley album. And it’s a track you’ll keep coming back to. Looking like she just walked off the pages of a fashion rag, her image would probably suggest yet another pop wannabe, but her voice tells a different story altogether.

For this new release follows the same laidback formula that made her first album do well; the old-fashion instrumentation and lyrics wandering aimlessly among her strong voice. While her other good-looking, blonde hair blue eye contemporaries are putting out CDs that fall in their perspective niches, people looking to expand horizons beyond the usual pop stuff, should give this album a good listen at least twice. Not exactly an outstanding effort, but in time, she could be the next Carly Simon.

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