Review: Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions, Volume 2

Reviews

Joss Stone

The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2

By Andrew Lee

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And so, nine years after her hit debut, The Soul Sessions, Joss Stone returns with a sequel. In between the two records she has grown from an ultra-talented teenager of just sixteen into an ultra-talented woman with legions of loyal fans. 

True to the original concept, this is an album of covers, and the song selections are both interesting and appropriate. For the most part these are songs that have enjoyed a life before Joss, but may not be instantly familiar to the average casual listener - and that's a good thing, because for now they belong to Joss Stone and will thus arrive without baggage on the ears of many listeners. 

Joss burns up the scenery on "The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind)." She injects a Broken Bells track ("The High Road") with a soulful power missing from the original, and helps us to understand James Mercer's cryptic lyrics just a little better. On "Pillow Talk" she smoothly plays the soulful sex kitten. While I'm not familiar with all the original versions of these songs, I still feel like she must have stamped them with her signature style - and perhaps that's the mark of a great covers album - when an artist owns the songs so confidently that the details of any previous recorded version cease to matter much. 

But for those who are interested in the details of these covers, here are the writing credits for each of these tracks - in many cases the writers were also the original performers: 

1. "I Got The..." - Labi Siffre
2. "(For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People" - Eugene Record (of the Chi-Lites)
3. "While You're Out Looking For Sugar" - Ronald Dunbar, Edyth Wayne (AKA Holland-Dozier-Holland), written for and originally performed by Honey Cone
4. "Sideways Shuffle" - Tim Renwick
5. "I Don't Wanna Be with Nobody But You" - Eddie Floyd
6. "Teardrops" - Cecil Womack, Linda Womack
7. "Stoned Out of My Mind" - Barbara Acklin
8. "The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind)" - Terry Callier, Larry Wade
9. "The High Road" - James Mercer (The Shins), Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) (AKA Broken Bells)
10. "Pillow Talk" - Sylvia Robinson, Michael Burton
11. "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - John D. Loudermilk

Bonus Tracks on the Deluxe Edition

12. "First Taste of Hurt" - W. Turbinton
13. "One Love in My Lifetime" - Terri McFaddin, Leonard Perry, Lawrence Brown (originally performed by Diana Ross)
14. "Nothing Takes the Place of You" - Toussaint McCall
15. "(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count the Days" - B. O'Dell, Yvonne Williams