Sing It, Sister
Joss Stone has recorded an album in Nashville with Dave Stewart, and it’s pretty fantastic. Made from scratch in just six days, this, the first release on Stone’s own label, is loose and raw, the way you expect a record to feel if it’s been made so quickly — but in the best possible way. It lets you hear Stone’s voice as if the microphone — and by extension, your ear — were right next to her mouth. Every nuance of her sound is captured and if you didn’t appreciate the beauty of it before, you sure will now.
The Inky Jukebox suspects that a great deal of the people one attributes the platitude “they could sing the phone book” cannot in fact, sing the phone book. Joss Stone, however, really could. This is because her singing style is to basically talk, but to sing the words. This sounds more simple than it is. She can sing loudly and not scream; she can hit her bottom notes and not growl, even though her voice has some gravel in it.
Another thing Stone’s voice has is the ability to occupy her throat like cream, the vowels elongated so that they are made way up high near the roof of her mouth.
When Stone sings, it appears effortless. This allows her a measure of comfort and confidence on the stage that produces the ability to riff where the song takes her. A good producer will let her do just that, because it’s where her voice bends around corners that sells records.
It’s hard to believe how young Stone still is, given the professional stature she’s attained. This album is proof of that.