Thursday, March 15, 2007
Introducing Joss Stone.
You could forgive an artist from making a fool of herself at the Brits if her new album proved to be something worth listening to.
You could forgive the "this is who I am as an artist" advertisements if the subsequent album showed any real signs of originality.
You could even, at a push, forgive the laughable, lamentable Vinnie Jones spoken word intro, as pathetically embarrassing as it is, if what followed it was anything even approaching decent.
As you might have guessed though, I'm not in a forgiving mood.
Let's be clear about one thing; Joss Stone can sing. That's not in doubt. And there is also no doubt that she's a good enough singer to save this album from being the absolute disaster it would be in less capable hands. But not even her superb voice can save songs as dull and as identikit as these.
And lyrically the situation is as bad. Much has been made (by the lady herself I might add) that this marks the first time that Stone has written most of her own lyrics and if we're being unfair you can tell. Yes she's still only 19 and there is nothing wrong with her writing from that level as such, but she's merely full of cliche's that would have been better off left unsaid.
Rapheal Saadiq is the main collaborator on the album and at times it seems like a shrewd move. Put Your Hands On Me is probably the highlight of the album, mixing, as it does, modern beats with a decidedly retro sound. Sadly most of his other production on the album seems intent on watering Miss Stone down to the lowest common denominator.
Which is a shame. There are enough numbers to get your toes dancing, but little that will stick in the memory once the CD is taken out of the machine and put back on the shelf. And that in itself is a huge sense of disappointment. Whilst her first two albums were hardly all-time-classics they showcased a great singer who would surely improve with age. Introducing seems to suggest that she's actually getting worse with age.
Joss Stone seems to be coming in for quite a bit of stick these days, at least some of which is undeserved. Sadly I can't see this dog of an album helping matters any. Perhaps that "classic" album which I once felt confident she could deliver isn't coming after all.