Joss Stone

Mind, Body & Soul (S-Curve)

Ever since Sam Phillips famously found his "billion-dollar" dream of a white artist "who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel," the music industry has been chasing after the Elvis Holy Grail like a coked-up, Armani-wearing Indiana Jones. Joss Stone may very well be the latest in a long line of bloated sequels. What she is not is the young, blond, white, British Aretha Franklin or Jill Scott. Mind, Body & Soul, Stone's second album, is, once again, a collection of old-school soul and R&B designed to sound like it was ripped straight from a vintage Motown sampler. Stone's Voice Beyond Her Years, which boils down to your basic American Idol belt with a few more snarls and swallowed notes, pounds each song out with growly gusto. The singer has a nice voice and some decent material, but would she really be getting as much attention were she not young, white and hot? Then again, "Stone has a nice voice and some decent material" -- would I be this snobby and dismissive if she weren't young, white and hot?

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