the Buzz for August 17th, 2012


Joss Stone — “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”
(from The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2) — Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye - The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 (Deluxe Edition)

There are probably a hundred thousand reasons why the stunningly gifted Stone has never fully made good — neither commercially nor creatively — on the potent promise set forth by her earth-shaking 2003 breakthrough record The Soul Sessions and its soul-filled smash “Fell in Love with a Boy” (a funked-up gender-bent take on The White Stripes’ instant classic “Fell in Love with a Girl”). Surely not least among those reasons: it’s just freakin’ hard to find songs, any songs, that match up perfectly with Stone’s difficult-to-classify sound and do proper justice to her booming, expansive singing voice (with which she attempts to smother and suffocate the songs she chooses to tackle much more often than is necessary). So sending Joss wading back into the Sessions waters for a sequel — not to mention reteaming her with producer Steve Greenberg, the nifty knob-twister who made the original Sessions such an unexpected delight — feels like an incredibly smart idea. And Stone shines like a diamond throughout, but especially here on the album’s closer, a simple ’60s standard that cowboy legend Eddy Arnold sent to number one some forty-plus years ago and that country star Neal McCoy had quite a big hit with in the mid-’90s. Playing it atypically cool here, with a restrained and riveting performance that starts out at delicious and only grows more tantalizing with each passing note, Stone finally returns to her sweet spot, relishing the moment with a delicate, dazzling grace.