Music » Critics' Picks

Joss Stone

8 p.m. Friday, July 4. Live Off the Levee, Soldiers Memorial, 1315 Chestnut Street

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With her 2003 debut The Soul Sessions, Joss Stone rode the neo-soul revival wave like a long-funk-fed veteran, not a sixteen-year-old British neophyte. With last year's Introducing Joss Stone she tried to say goodbye to all that choreographed revivalism. She sounds a little more samplified, a little more turntabled, a little more reliant on modern R&B values of stacked vocal choruses, cuddly vocal cues and cameos by Common. Mostly, Stone sounds like herself: a soul moaner with a deep throat of gold and an insatiable rhythmic instinct. Dance floor killers like "Put Your Hands On Me" meet breathy sex-you-up-and-downs like "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now" and it all sounds too, too hot. One almost forgets that as a songwriter, she's an irresistibly powerful singer.

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