Label: Virgin Records
7.0 out of 10
By Norman Mayers
Since this is Joss Stone’s third album, the title “Introducing” might seem a bit inappropriate yet this is the first time Ms. Stone seems to have created a sound that is truly her own. Teaming up with neo-soul pioneer Raphael Saadiq, Stone appears to have finally found herself.
The productions are all crisp, retro-styled yet contemporary soul, full of clattering percussions and sharp breaks such as on the funky “Headturner” and “Put Your Hands On Me”. Stone has always tried to project a vintage soul vibe but with “Introducing” her sound is less derivative than on her previous album. The voice has always been strong but finally Joss is giving much more personality in each track. Songs like “Proper Nice” and “Girl They Won’t Believe It” are definitely bursting with personality and flavor, buoyed by excellent up-tempo grooves and catchy hooks. While the majority of the album is a funky affair the slower cuts work as well, most notably the classic soul of “What Were We Thinking”, which succeeds because of Stone’s raspy vocal performance. Solid guest appearances from Common and Lauryn Hill help to further elevate the project. While Joss Stone’s sincerity may be in question, the truth remains that she has created her best album to date and is definitely developing her style and sound.
Joss Stone's Website