Every so often a new singer comes along that literally knocks you off your feet from the first listen. Joss Stone fits that bill.
Every so often a new singer comes along that literally knocks you off your feet from the first listen. Joss Stone fits that bill. Packing tons of soul in her traffic-stopping vocals (think a young Janis Joplin by way of Mavis Staples), the British-born Stone is already a formidable presence at 16 years old. Just look at the lineup of supporting players on her U.S. debut: '60s/'70s R&B vets Betty Wright, Latimore and Timmy Thomas and contemporary neo-soul and rap icons Angie Stone and the Roots. With their backing, Stone mines the depths of soul with such nuggets as the heart-tugging "Chokin' Kind" and the juke-joint-jumping "Super Duper Lover." Whether crooning about love on a spare, slowed-down version of the Isley Brothers' "For the Love of You," brilliantly tackling the White Stripes' "Fell in Love With a Girl" (here titled "Fell in Love With a Boy") or revving up "All the King's Horses" (covered by fellow soul wunderkind Aretha Franklin in 1972), Stone makes each song her own—which heightens anticipation for the singer/songwriter's 2004 album of original material. This soul sonic force is the real deal.—GM