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Joss Stone, Water For Your Soul
FOR a silky-voiced singer capable of scaling some hefty heights, it is something of a surprise that soul star Joss Stone’s seventh album sticks its flag firmly in the territory of reggae.
Opening track Love Me lilts into life with such Caribbean charm that you half expect to hear Bob Marley coming through the speakers. Instead, Joss’s soulful vocals breeze over the rhythm and the album’s tone is set. While the British superstar’s delivery is effortless and her quality apparent, the music somehow dilutes her biggest strength.
Stone’s natural talent is put to greater effect in the poppy This Ain’t Love and the stripped-back Stuck on You, before the middle of the album returns to its reggae roots with Wake Up, Way Oh and Underworld, all of which have the same subduing effect on Stone’s range.
Water For Your Soul is an interesting direction for Stone and, taken in isolation, most tracks fit neatly within her chosen genre. There is nothing offensive and no track that makes you immediately skip to the next song, but reggae doesn’t provide the singer with enough scope to fully utilise her incredible voice and it all passes by without ever really grabbing your attention.