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Joss Stone
Water For Your Soul

Joss Stone — Water For Your Soul (July 31, 2015)

      Joss Stone — Water For Your Soul (July 31, 2015)
••   Powerhouse British R&B vocalist made a huge splash at 16, garnering comparisons to legends Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin.
Birth name: Joscelyn Eve Stoker
Born: 11 April 1987, Dover, Kent, England
Location: London, UK
Album release: July 31, 2015
Recorded: 2012–15
Record Label: Stone'd Records
Duration:     64:10
01 Love Me     5:07
02 This Ain’t Love     4:28
03 Stuck on You     4:19
04 Star     5:08
05 Let Me Breathe     5:16
06 Cut the Line     4:07
07 Wake Up     4:44
08 Way Oh     5:49
09 Underworld     4:09
10 Molly Town     3:34
11 Sensimilla     4:18
12 Harry's Symphony     3:54
13 Clean Water     4:31
14 The Answer     4:47
℗ 2015 Stone'd Records Ltd
Written by:
••   Damian Marley / Joss Stone     1
••   Jonathan Shorten / Joss Stone     2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 12
••   Nick Ramm / Conner Reeves / Jonathan Shorten / Joss Stone     5
••   Damian Marley / Conner Reeves / Jonathan Shorten / Joss Stone     7
••   Marc Cyril / Neville Malcolm / Jonathan Shorten / Richie Stevens / Joss Stone     8
••   Eric "Kenya" Baker / Neville Malcolm / Jonathan Shorten / Richie Stevens / Joss Stone     9
••   Marlon Asher / Dennis Bovell / Jonathan Shorten / Joss Stone     11
••   Marc Cyril / Joss Stone     13
••   Dennis Bovell / Jonathan Shorten / Joss Stone     14
••   Ponciano Almeida Berimbau
••   Stanley Andrews Guitar
••   Marlon Asher Composer
••   Chris Athens Mastering
••   Jay Auburn Engineer
••   Spy Austin Vocals
••   Jon Bailey String Engineer
••   Eric "Kenya" Baker Composer
••   Luke Bonenfant Vocals
••   Dennis Bovell Bass, Composer, Vocals (Background)
••   Joe Broughton Violin
••   Damon Bryson Tuba
••   Rod Cousins Artwork, Layout
••   Marc Cyril Bass, Composer
••   Ava DiLouie Vocals
••   Steve Down Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic)
••   Aref Durvesh Tabla
••   Lauren Gibbs Production Assistant
••   Steve Greenwell Engineer, Mixing, Producer
••   Robert Hall Assistant Engineer
••   Sarah Harrison Violin
••   Aoife Hastings Artwork
••   Pete Iannacone Bass
••   Antonia Jenaé Vocals (Background)
••   Michelle John Vocals (Background)
••   Andre "a–Minor" Johnson Engineer
••   Linton Kwesi Johnson Vocal Samples
••   Jonathan Joseph Drums
••   Jules 'Juda' Bartholomew Arranger, Choir Director
••   Ellison Kendrick Vocals (Background)
••   Brock Lichthardt Vocals
••   Artia Lockett Vocals (Background)
••   The London Session Orchestra Strings
••   Neville Malcolm Bass, Composer, Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
••   Wil Malone String Arrangements, Strings
••   Damian Marley Composer, Vocals
••   Leon Mobley Percussion
••   Brian Nelson Executive Producer
••   Christina Olson Vocals
••   John Prestage Assistant Engineer
••   Nick Ramm Composer
••   Janet Ramus Vocals (Background)
••   Conner Reeves Composer
••   Ricardo Jordan Drums
••   Orphy Robinson Vibraphone
••   Erik Romero Assistant Engineer, Engineer
••   Nitin Sawhney Guitar (Nylon String)
••   Jeff Scantleberry Congas, Drums, Percussion
••   Jonathan Shorten Accordion, Clavinet, Composer, Engineer, Fender Rhodes, Keyboards, Melodica, Organ, Organ (Hammond), Piano, Producer, Wurlitzer
••   Ian Smith Trombone, Trumpet
••   Ashwin Srinivasan Flute
••   Tony Stanton Copyist
••   Richie Stevens Composer, Drums
••   Joss Stone Composer, Producer, Vocals (Background)
••   Tim Tannela Assistant Engineer
••   Paloma Trigas Violin
••   Eddie Ward Engineer
••   Jeff Watkins Horn Arrangements, Saxophone
••   Alan Weekes Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
••   Tommy Williams Engineer
By Holly Gleason  |  July 14, 2015  |  3:14pm  |  Score: 8.3
••   Joss Stone, modern queen of the timeless old–school soul, has propelled herself into a project merging hip hop, reggae, world music and R&B. Her tenure in the short–lived all–star group SuperHeavy with Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart and Damien Marley served as the catalyst for Water For Your Soul. And those influences from such diverse genres make Stone’s latest even that much more delicious.
••   Four years in the making, Water For Your Soul walks a tightrope between real–world consciousness (“Wake Up,” “Clean Water”) and Hacky Sack hippie oblivious (“Sensimilla”). But throughout, Stone maintains her soulful vocals without resorting to diva histrionics.
••   As a citizen of the world, Stone has toured the globe intensively, and those sounds make it into the English singer’s latest LP. “Molly Town,” a slight song of romantic obsession, boasts deep and undulating grooves. Fieldstripping Amy Winehouse’s ska/soul intersection over a more aggressive reggae base, the song becomes ragged pleasure. Conversely, “Love Me” features a more gentle, submerging reggae influence. Later, “Stuck on You” plays with African/Appalachian hybridity, and “Cut The Line” melds Flamenco into a post–Supremes’ culture.
••   Elevated message informs Water For Your Soul, as well. “Harry’s Symphony” is a ghetto street opera of coming of age for “18 and Over,” portraying real–world treachery against the lures of adult pleasure, and how easy it is to get in over one’s head. A children’s chorus reinforces “Let Me Breathe”’s declaration of human need, while “Wake Up” is a straight–up rap thrust with Marley that demands listeners pay attention to the song and the world around them. But it’s “The Answer,” closing the project with a dervish whirl, bowed string instruments and syncopation, that provides both the fury of the questions that plague society, as well as and the resolution of surrender as an answer. ••   http://www.pastemagazine.com/
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman;  Score: **½
••   The concept of Joss Stone's seventh studio release began to take shape following the formation of SuperHeavy, the multi–cultural, cross–generational group that released an awkward if free–spirited album in 2011, just before The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 materialized. Among Stone's bandmates was Damian Marley, who implored the singer to cut a reggae album. Stone was hesitant at first but conceded, perhaps realizing that a drastic switch in her vocal approach would not be required. (She wouldn't even have to avoid using the word "soul" in the album's title.) More importantly, Marley wasn't fooling. He followed through and co–produced this with Stone. The duo devised a set of songs that often uses reggae as a foundation but incorporates a familiar mix of soul, rock, and roots music with light accents from tablas, Irish fiddles, and flamenco guitar. Even when the album deviates most from the singer's previous releases — specifically in "Way Oh," during its chorus and forced–sounding references to a "buffalo soldier," likely a nod to Marley's father — Water for Your Soul always sounds like Joss Stone. Her voice remains in debt to classic soul as much as ever. Additionally, she continues to switch from emotion to emotion with full–bore conviction. From one song to another, there are some extreme swings in sentiment. In "Let Me Breathe," she begs for release from a stifling relationship she cannot resist. She follows it with the exasperated "Cut the Line" — fluid and dubwise, the album's song with the most surface appeal — where "I can't get over how you're shutting me out" is delivered with the same amount of "help me out here" force. While one can always sense the pain and joy in the mere sound of Stone's voice, some of the songs' lines provoke head scratching rather than knowing nods. Through deep, repeated listening, the album increasingly resembles ragtag emoting. Heard passively, it's all pleasant summertime listening.
Artist Biography by Andrew Leahey
••   British singer Joss Stone was only 16 years old when she hit the mainstream in 2003, armed with a powerful voice and a vintage, soul–based sound. Smartly aligning herself with a number of soul legends on her early records, Stone earned a devoted audience at home and abroad, first for her reinterpretations of classic soul songs (as heard on The Soul Sessions) and then, on future albums, for her songwriting chops and powerful delivery.
••   Born Joscelyn Eve Stoker in 1987, Stone grew up mimicking the sounds of American soul and R&B icons, particularly throaty vocalists like Aretha Franklin. Her voice developed quickly, a maturation that earned her a first–place finish at a BBC singing competition in 2001. Stone was only 14 at the time, but a pair of local producers recognized her talent and contacted S–Curve CEO Steve Greenberg, who flew her to New York City for an audition. Stone impressed Greenberg with her rendition of Donna Summer's "On the Radio," and a record deal was inked between both parties. With her parents' permission, she dropped out of school, changed her last name, and primed herself for a career in entertainment.
••   R&B/soul pioneer Betty Wright joined Stone for her first recording, becoming an instant mentor to the singer while also serving as her co–producer and backup vocalist. Little Beaver, Timmy Thomas, Angie Stone, and the Roots also assisted Stone during those studio sessions, creating songs that would soon comprise the track list for her 2003 debut album, The Soul Sessions. A set of soul classics by the likes of Laura Lee, Bettye Swann, Betty Wright, and Aretha Franklin, The Soul Sessions was crafted in just four days, hurried along by an eager label that couldn't wait to tell the world about its neo–soul starlet. The album was ultimately a success, selling over 500,000 copies in America and nearly doubling that figure in the U.K., where it became one of the best–selling records of 2004. The Soul Sessions also introduced Stone to the MTV generation with "Fell in Love with a Boy," a reworked version of the White Stripes' modern rock hit "Fell in Love with a Girl."
••   Stone's second album, Mind, Body & Soul, focused more heavily on original content than its predecessor. Of its 14 tracks, 12 were either written or co–written by Stone, who became the youngest female to top the U.K. charts upon the album’s release in 2004. Mind, Body & Soul eventually reached platinum status in multiple countries and brought Stone both commercial success and critical acclaim, as well as three Grammy nominations and two BRIT Awards. After performances at London's Live 8, Bonnaroo 2005, and Superbowl XL, the singer relocated to the Bahamas to record her next album, Introducing Joss Stone, which found her experimenting with more modern R&B sounds. Produced by Raphael Saadiq and released in March 2007, the album didn’t fare quite as well as Stone's two previous releases, although it still sold more than one million copies worldwide.
••   Following two North American tours and an appearance at the 2007 Grammy Awards, Stone launched a highly publicized battle with her record label, offering to forfeit two million pounds in order to terminate her contract with EMI. The label fought back, demanding that she deliver the master tapes to her next album, and the resulting feud prolonged the release of Stone's fourth record, Colour Me Free! Eventually released in late 2009 by EMI (who had refused to relinquish Stone's four–album deal), the album revisited the soulful sounds of her early work, representing a marked change from the R&B modernity of Introducing Joss Stone. Although well–received by critics, it became the lowest–selling album of her career and failed to produce a successful single. Meanwhile, her acting career took off with a successful stint on The Tudors, where she portrayed Anne of Cleves for two seasons.
••   After making cameos on albums by Jeff Beck, Tower of Power, and Ringo Starr, Stone returned to her own music as a free agent, having satisfied her commitment to EMI with the release of Colour Me Free! She celebrated her independence by launching her own label, Stone'd Records, and reaching out to Dave Stewart, who agreed to co–write and co–produce her next album. The two began collaborating in 2009 and temporarily relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where they banged out 2011's LP1 in six short days.
••   Stone's association with Stewart led to her participation in the 2011 supergroup SuperHeavy, also featuring Mick Jagger and Damian Marley. SuperHeavy's eponymous debut materialized in the fall of 2011, and not long afterward, she delved into The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2, a collection of classic soul covers that mirrored her 2003 debut in content and spirit. The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 appeared in the summer of 2012. Stone returned to the studio to record her seventh album, Water for Your Soul. Originally touted as a full–on reggae affair, Stone instead opted for a mix of styles, taking in hip–hop, R&B, pop, and reggae. The album, released in 2015, saw her work again with SuperHeavy collaborator Damian Marley.
••   http://www.allmusic.com/
Website: http://www.jossstone.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jossstone
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jossstone
••   The Soul Sessions  (2003)
••   Mind Body & Soul  (2004)
••   Introducing Joss Stone  (2007)
••   Colour Me Free!  (2009)
••   LP1  (2011)
••   The Soul Sessions Vol. 2  (2012)
••   Water for Your Soul  (2015)

Joss Stone
Water For Your Soul