Release Date: Jul 26, 2011
Record label: Stone'd Records
Genre(s): R&B, Soul, Vocal, Pop/Rock, Neo-Soul
Allow Joss Stone to reintroduce herself: On LP1, her first disc for her own label, the 24-year-old Brit takes a blowtorch to her increasingly smooth soul-pop sound, unloading 10 tracks of lowdown blues. The producer here is Dave Stewart (who, along with Mick Jagger, is also Stone's bandmate in the new group SuperHeavy). For LP1, Stewart brought Stone to Nashville, where session stars provided the Stevie Wonder boogie on "Karma," one of many tracks pairing sweet grooves with her hot temper ("Karma's your master, and you're the bitch").
Soul child Joss Stone grew up going toe-to-toe and holding her own with some of classic R&B’s finest, and that old soul presence made for a disconnect: free spirit hippie girl inhabiting Timmy Thomas’ vintage “I’ve Fallen In Love With” with the same lived-in familiarity she brought to her take on The White Stripes’ “Fell in Love With a Girl. ” After enduring a lengthy battle with her record company, working with Raphael Saadiq, collaborating on movie soundtracks, and forming a band called Superheavy with Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart and Damien Marley as well as acting in the film Eragon and Showtime’s The Tudors, Stone’s become her own woman. Launching a label after fighting for emancipation, she applies that torque, frustration and fire on LP1, a full-tumble of relentless musicianship, grit and soul.
LP1 marks the third successive album from Joss Stone where she’s attempting to hit the restart button on her career, to usher in a new beginning for the neo-soul diva or, better yet, find the right setting for her considerable gifts. This journey began with 2007’s splashy modern R&B set Introducing Joss Stone, a makeover she rebelled against on her major-label kiss-off Colour Me Free, and now that she’s truly independent, she’s aligned with Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart for LP1, returning to the classicism of her earliest work. There is a difference.
Joss Stone's fifth album, LP1, continues the British soul singer's tendency to present every release as a brand new beginning. Her last album, Colour Me Free!, was purported to offer a gaze at Stone's soul, which had been up to that point obscured by the commercial machinations of her label, EMI (she sank a good deal of cash in order to terminate that contract early). She called her third album Introducing…Joss Stone, odd enough given that her debut and sophomore effort were received well enough by critics and consumers.
"Forget the standard. The standard, in my opinion, is wrong." So says Joss Stone, explaining the ethos driving her new record company, Stone'd, for which this is the first release. Standard, however, is the word that springs to mind when listening to LP1. Recorded under the aegis of Dave Stewart in Nashville over the course of a solitary week, this album is desperate to evoke adored music of the past; any number of low-slung country riffs, honky-tonk organ flourishes and, of course, soulful vocal howls being deployed in the cause.
Oh boy, Joss Stone is angry. That should really come as no surprise to her fans. From the wise-beyond-her-years debut, 2003’s The Soul Sessions, to the overt jab at her now-former record label, EMI, Colour Me Free, the 24-year-old songstress has always been sure to wear her emotions on her English sleeve. It’s become expected of her to offer emotionally charged, oftentimes-raw performances on her albums, albums that are typically filled with a modern day mix of inspiring soul and rhythm & blues, mind you.
“LP1” (Stone’d/Surfdog) The British soul singer Joss Stone starts and ends “LP1,” her first album for her own label, with songs calling for world peace. But peace between lovers is even harder to find. For most of the album she lets her big, smoky voice rip into songs of all-out romantic strife. “Now you’re telling me you’re sorry,” she reproaches one no-good soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend.
Something approaching a return to form from the British soul singer. Mike Diver 2011 Steadily rising Brit-soul teenager Dionne Bromfield – currently 15 years old – would be wise to study the career path of Joss Stone, who broke into the mainstream at the age of 16 with 2003’s The Soul Sessions. Study it, carefully, and then walk in the opposite direction for a few albums.