The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Stone releases soulful second album

Becca Saunders | Thursday, October 7, 2004

The title pretty much says it all as far as the mood and direction of Joss Stone’s newest album, “Mind Body & Soul.” Stone’s second album is not a huge deviation from the tones of her first album, “The Soul Sessions,” which just became popular early this year. The music is generally soft with some upbeat tracks, but through it all Stone’s strong voice is wonderfully complimented and showcased. Stone said that, “For me, personally, ‘Mind Body & Soul’ is my real debut album.” Stone co-wrote 11 of the 14 tracks on “Mind Body & Soul,” and the maturity of her voice is abundantly apparent. Whether a fast track or a slow melodic tune, Stone’s voice penetrates the ear of any listener, proving there are truly talented female musicians who are actually popular and selling records. There is something almost indescribable about Stone’s voice; it is powerful and addictive. She seems to sense the exact moments to go soft, fast or any direction it allows. The voice of Stone is the most exciting part of “Mind Body & Soul” and is simply addictive. The songs on “Mind Body & Soul” are also generally interesting and memorable. While there are fast and slow songs with hints of different levels of blues, jazz and pop that surface in the songs on the album, more variety in song genre would make for a stronger album. Stone is a terrific musician who is immensely talented, but as one listens to the album, many of the songs have a very similar sound. On the other hand, that sound is terrific. As such, the strength of the album is apparent, but as one listens to the addictive voice of Joss Stone, it is inevitably thought that it would be nice to see all that her voice could do in songs that are more different from one another. One of the catchiest faster songs is “Don’t Cha Wanna Ride,” with a soft yet quick beat supporting its playful lyrics. Stone sings, “I know you got the Hummer for the summer, baby / But I got your number, baby / I got your number … A car this fine don’t pass your way every day / Don’t cha wanna ride, baby?” While the lyrics are less than impressive, the song itself is fun and memorable. A softer song is found in “Jet Lag,” with hints of an almost reggae beat that is appealing to any listener looking for a softer yet funky kind of beat. There are not necessarily any classic tracks on “Mind Body & Soul,” but there are not any that are especially bad either. They all generally flow into each other, making Joss Stone’s “Mind Body & Soul” a terrific album to have playing in the background of any chill scene. Overall, the album is good music with a strong voice singing lyrics that are questionable in quality. All the shortcomings are made up for by Stone’s addictively smooth yet strong voice. “Mind Body & Soul” may fall into the category of background music, but Stone’s voice and the future of her career certainly do not and will not.