October 7, 2004

Test Spin: Joss Stone

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Fans of vocal prodigy Joss Stone’s brand of upbeat neo-soul (as typified by the hit “Supa Dupa Love”) will find the optimistic tone relatively absent in her sophomore album Mind, Body & Soul. What prevails instead is a heavy atmosphere of moody contemplation, which translates into a rather ho-hum, unremarkable listening experience.

Perhaps, being the ripe old age of 17, Stone feels a need to express her more mature side and hence does so by seeking out darker material instead of more uplifting ones. Even if she did somehow exponentially age within a year of her debut, it hardly seems appropriate for her to sing vindictive, “grown-up” abusive relationship songs such as “You Had Me” or bitter tracks like “Killing Time.” Although her low and sultry voice makes her seem wise beyond her years, in reality she is still a young girl, and it seems odd that she tries to pass herself off as some blas