As Spotify alerted me this morning, Joss Stone just released her appropriately titled seventh solo album, Water for your Soul. Yes, you read that correctly, the 28-year-old Brit has released seven solo albums. An impressive feat in my opinion since the most I’ve done with my life is graduate college and shower regularly, and I’m already thirty.
We’ve been fortunate to have someone like Stone feeding our souls since she came onto the stage in 2003 covering soul classics such as “The Chokin’ Kind” and “For the Love of Yous”. She found a home in the world of sultry, seductive, soul music mixed with hip-hop and pop vibes. This sound matched with her powerful and emotive voice allowed her to become the soundtrack for relationships everywhere whether you were breaking up, making up, or hooking up. I’d put money on her “Put Your Hands on Me” causing a spike in the birth rate.
If you’re looking for this Joss Stone you’ve come to love on Water for your Soul, you’ll find her, but this time on a beach in Jamaica. With help from producer Damien Marley, Stone merged her traditional sound with island beats. At first listen I was a bit turned off as I was expecting a certain sound, and like most people, I have an aversion to change. But I gave it another go and it works, it really works. I found myself closing my eyes and letting my body just move wherever the music took me.
If you really want to experience the reggae sound, your first stop should be “Wake Up”, which features Marley toasting. I’d also recommend checking out “Cut the Line” and “Molly Town” where she adapts her voice to give it a reggae flavor. To be honest, it’s not my cup of tea (or my type of ganja I should say), but I do appreciate her ability to push herself and expose her listeners into new sounds.
In the best “leave me the fuck alone and let me heal from the wounds you caused” category, “Let me Breathe” takes the cake with “This Ain’t Love” coming in a close second. She has a knack of helping you feel empowered to make a change without sounding bitter or aggressive. It’s a subtle “fuck you” and I think we need more of that.
The other “Best of” include:
Sexiest Song: “Underworld”
Best Anthem: “Star (We are Who We Are)” Side note: When the children start singing, I immediately was taken to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”. Am I the only one?
Most Meditative: “Sensimillia”
Best Use of the Cop’s Theme song: “Harry’s Song”
Best Drum Beat: “The Answer”
Superlatives aside, Stone delivers on her promise of watering your soul, by growing her boundaries beyond what her fans have come to expect. She also holds true to her ability to give life to feelings. Her vocal talent is undeniable and instead of resting on her laurels, she created an album unique to her catalogue and gives her fans an opportunity to grow into an appreciation for reggae.