Joss Stone: "Introducing Joss Stone"
Producer: Raphael Saadiq
Virgin
Release Date: March 20

If Stone was a whiz-kid prodigy on her first two albums, "Introducing" brings us the 19-year-old Brit as a confident vocalist demanding some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. She makes that reference directly on "Headturner," a sassy, muscular head of steam with a big beat and a Prince-style swagger. Elsewhere, Stone channels the Supremes ("Girl They Won't Believe It"), the Jackson 5 ("Baby, Baby, Baby") and plenty of Sister 'Re, but don't mistake "Introducing" as a mere collection of homages. Raphael Saadiq's production is brimming with horns and seriously in-the-pocket rhythm sections, but there are also enough hip-hop touches and contemporary arrangements to keep the tracks in the now. And while Stone shows her ability to shout bama-lama with the best of her forebears on "Headturner," she also shines when things quiet down ("I'm Falling," and "Music," which features a rare guest rap by Lauryn Hill). --Gary Graff

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