Introducing Joss Stone (Virgin)
Missed Joss Stone at the Brits acting like a tosser in front of an audience of millions? Never mind, her new record is packed with just as much lip-gnawing wobble and warble. Peppered with the powerful (Lauren Hill), the heavyweight (Common) and the pointless (Vinnie Jones offers his musings on metaphysical change – yes, really), this never pulls itself above puke-splattered horror. She has talent to burn, but rather than challenge herself, Stone has chosen to throw herself on a multi-million dollar bullet train to the centre of mediocrity. “These are my words, and this is who I am as an artist,” says Stone of ‘Introducing…’ and she’s quite right, this unpleasant mélange of sugary R&B and hip-pop sums up Stone’s extranious position in pop’s rogue gallery perfectly. At least she’s kept her hands off The White Stripes this time, God knows what a diva in a strange mood would have made of ‘Seven Nation Army’.