Joss Stone

Mind, Body & Soul (S-Curve)

The voice and vintage-R&B vibe of Joss Stone's 2003 debut, The Soul Sessions, were so at odds with reality -- how could the second coming of Aretha be a lily-white British teen? -- that it's still hard to believe. But not only does Mind, Body & Soulrepeat the trick, it betters it: Substituting Stone's originals for the debut's well-chosen covers yields results that are a little more organic. In short, it's even more remarkable for this 17-year-old.

Stone's biggest problem remains her unlikely success story; marveling that this is some teenage Limey can make it difficult to discern whether you're responding to novelty or authentically memorable music. However, Stone's voice ultimately makes those concerns critical hair-splitting; Mind, Body & Soulsimply has too much of the latter to ignore. -- Dan Leroy

 
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