The voice and vintage-R&B vibe of Joss Stone's 2003 debut, The Soul Sessions, were so at odds with reality--how could the second coming of Aretha be a lily-white British teen?--that it's still hard to believe. But not only does Mind, Body & Soul repeat the trick, it betters it: Substituting Stone's originals for the debut's well-chosen covers yields results that are a little more organic, a little more Dusty in Memphis--in short, it's even more remarkable for this 17-year-old.
Stone's biggest problem remains her unlikely success story; marveling that this is some teenage Limey can make it difficult to discern whether you're responding to novelty or authentically memorable music. And the retro R&B created by its three producers is so convincing that any concessions to modernity are unwelcome. But Stone's voice--whether purring out pure sizzle on "Torn and Tattered" or preaching the gospel according to Joss on "Spoiled"--ultimately makes those concerns critical hair-splitting; Mind, Body & Soul simply has too much of the latter to ignore.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.