Introducing Joss Stone

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Introducing Joss Stone
Studio album by Joss Stone
Released 9 March 2007 (2007-03-09)
Recorded April 2006 – January 2007;
Blakeslee Recording Company
(North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California)
Compass Point Studios
(Nassau, Bahamas)
Electric Lady Studios
(New York City)
The Plant Studios
(Sausalito, California)
Genre Soul, R&B, neo soul, funk, alternative hip hop
Length 47:55
Label Relentless
Producer Raphael Saadiq
Joss Stone chronology
Mind Body & Soul
(2004)
Introducing Joss Stone
(2007)
Colour Me Free!
(2009)
Alternative cover
Japanese cover
Singles from Introducing Joss Stone
  1. "Tell Me 'bout It"
    Released: 5 March 2007
  2. "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now"
    Released: 23 July 2007
  3. "Baby Baby Baby"
    Released: 14 January 2008

Introducing Joss Stone (styled as Introducing... Joss Stone) is the third studio album by English recording artist Joss Stone. It was released in the United Kingdom on 12 March 2007 by Relentless Records. While not as commercially successful as Stone's previous albums in her native UK, Introducing Joss Stone debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 selling 118,000 units in its opening week, yielding the second-ever highest debut for a British female solo artist on the chart. It also achieved success across continental Europe, charting inside the top five and the top ten in several nations. According to EMI, the album has sold 1.3 million copies worldwide.

Background and recording[edit]

Raphael Saadiq produced the album and co-wrote several tracks.

Virgin Records head Jason Flom gave the responsibility for A&Ring the album to new charge Chris Anokute. Anokute, who would go on to guide Katy Perry to breakthrough success, told HitQuarters: "[M]y first real A&R job is A&Ring a record for Joss Stone with a budget of $1 million", since Stone was, according to him, the biggest artist on the label at the time.[1] In April 2006 Flom sent Stone to Barbados with Anokute for two months in order for her to start writing the lyrics and for the two to work on developing the songs.[2][3][4] In collaboration with Marty Maidenberg and Merck Mercuriadis, Anokute developed the vision for the album, bringing in producers and songwriters Raphael Saadiq, Novel, Dallas Austin and Mix Master Mike, and artists Joi and Common. Anokute also engineered a duet with Lauryn Hill, a considerable coup as this was the first time Hill had guested on anyone else's record after 1998's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.[1]

The album's production is solely credited to Saadiq, known for his previous work with the likes of D'Angelo, Macy Gray, Mary J. Blige, Kelis and The Roots. "Raphael is the most incredible musician I've ever met in my whole life", Stone said. "Musically, I feel like he reads my mind. I'll give him a look and he'll know exactly what I want."[2] After Barbados, Stone went to Nassau, Bahamas to meet up with Saadiq.[2] The two spent two months there recording at Compass Point Studios, followed by the album's mixing at New York City's Electric Lady Studios.[2]

Virgin Records described the album as "an electrifying mix of warm vintage soul, '70s-style R&B, Motown girl-group harmonies, and hip-hop grooves."[2] Stone herself described it as "truly me. That's why I'm calling it Introducing Joss Stone. These are my words, and this is who I am as an artist."[2]

Release and promotion[edit]

Stone promoted the album on Pepsi on Stage on Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2008.

On 13 March 2007, VH1 launched a music series titled Album Autopsy: Introducing Joss Stone on the channel's broadband video channel VSPOT. The series took an in-depth look at the entire album process, including Stone's songwriting process, recording sessions, creation of the album cover art and interviews with Stone and people involved in the album's production.[5]

The album's lead single "Tell Me 'bout It", released on 5 March 2007, debuted and peaked at number twenty-eight on the UK Singles Chart,[6] and became Stone's first solo single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 when it reached number eighty-three.[7] Follow-up single "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now" (featuring Common), released on 23 July 2007, missed the top seventy-five in the UK, peaking at number eighty-four.[6] The Diane Warren-penned ballad "Bruised but Not Broken", although not commercially released as a single, went for adds at US urban adult contemporary radio stations on 16 July 2007,[8] which allowed the song to chart at number fifty-five on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[9] and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts[10] in November 2007, as well as number thirteen on the Hot Adult R&B Airplay in October 2007.[11] It was ultimately ranked at number thirty-eight on Radio & Records's urban AC year-end chart of 2007 with 9,049 plays.[12] The official third (and final) single, "Baby Baby Baby", received a physical release in the UK on 14 January 2008, but due to lack of promotion and a music video to back its release, the song failed to chart in major markets.

A North American tour in support of the album took place from 27 April to 13 June 2007, visiting sixteen cities in total: Ledyard, Connecticut; Philadelphia; New Orleans; Dallas; Alpine, California; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; Vancouver; Seattle; Denver; Chicago; Toronto; Montreal; New York City; Boston; and Vienna, Virginia.[13] Two months later, Stone embarked on a North American late-summer tour which lasted from 27 August to 29 September 2007 and covered twelve cities: Los Angeles; Park City, Utah; Snowmass Village, Colorado; Seattle; Jacksonville, Oregon; Las Vegas; Mexico City; Austin, Texas, Texas; Biloxi, Mississippi; Chicago; San Francisco; and Kansas City, Missouri.[14]

The deluxe edition of the album includes a bonus DVD containing thirty-five minutes of material, including recording footage, interviews with Stone and the music video for "Tell Me 'bout It".

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (64/100)[15]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[16]
Entertainment Weekly B−[17]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[18]
The Independent 2/5 stars[19]
NME (2/10)[20]
PopMatters (7/10)[21]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[22]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[23]
The Times 2/5 stars[24]
Yahoo! Music UK 7/10 stars[25]

Introducing Joss Stone received positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 64, based on 22 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[15] Rolling Stone's Christian Hoard felt that "[t]here are a couple of moments on Stone's third album when she clobbers a melody with enough showy vocal oomph to make even Christina Aguilera fans squirm. But for the most part, Stone employs her remarkable instrument with focus and nuance on Introducing, and the result is an album full of solid pop-wise R&B."[22] Mike Joseph of PopMatters commented that "[i]t's certainly the first great R&B album I've heard this year. While there's still the occasional affectation that I wish she would get rid of, Stone has grown into her music quite a bit."[21]

Tim Perlich, writing for Canadian magazine Now, noted that "[w]ith the fast-maturing Stone gaining greater control of her powerful pipes and a recent breakup adding to the underlying sexual tension while stoking the creative fire, the craftily reconstituted 70s R&B concept works exceptionally well."[26] Blender critic David Browne gave it three stars out of five and wrote that "[n]early every song is a souped-up retro-funk tornado, pushed along by blaxploitation-soundtrack guitars, scenery-chewing backup singers and, of course, Stone's husky pipes."[27] Both Billboard and Entertainment Weekly praised Saadiq's production; the former called it "brimming with horns and seriously in-the-pocket rhythm sections, but there are also enough hip-hop touches and contemporary arrangements to keep the tracks in the now",[28] while the latter opined that "[h]e brings a strong focus to Introducing Joss Stone, blending the digital crispness of modern R&B with Stone's preferred flavors of retro: swooping Motown-style strings, girl-group background vocals, gutbucket soul guitar."[17] In a review for Allmusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine believed that "Introducing does sound brighter, fresher than her other two albums, pitched partway between Amy Winehouse and Back to Basics Christina yet sounding very much like Texas at their prime, but it's all surface change."[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

Introducing Joss Stone debuted at number twelve on the UK Albums Chart for the week of 24 March 2007 selling over 27,000 copies in its first week, and spent only four weeks on the chart, failing to reprise the success of Stone's previous efforts.[29] Nevertheless, the album debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number two (behind Modest Mouse's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank) on the issue dated 7 April 2007 with first-week sales of over 118,000 copies,[30] earning Stone her most successful album in the United States to date, as well as the highest-charting debut for a British female solo artist on the Billboard 200, outdoing the record previously held by fellow English soul singer Amy Winehouse, whose album Back to Black had debuted at number seven the week before.[31] This record would later be broken by Leona Lewis's Spirit, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 on 26 April 2008.[32] The album earned a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 1 May 2007,[33] within two months of release, having sold 608,000 copies in the US as of November 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[34] It was equally successful in Canada, reaching number six on the main albums chart[35] and number one on the R&B chart.[36] It was eventually certified gold by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) on 11 April 2007 for sales in excess of 50,000 copies.[37]

In mainland Europe, Introducing Joss Stone enjoyed top ten success in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands (where it landed at number one in its third week on the run), Portugal and Switzerland.[38] It was awarded with gold and platinum certifications by, respectively, the Austrian and Swiss legs of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).[39][40] The album was less successful in Nordic countries, peaking at number twenty-seven in Norway, number thirty-one in Sweden and number thirty-eight in Denmark, while failing to chart at all in Finland.[38] With a peak position of number three on the European Top 100 Albums,[41] it ended 2007 as the eighty-eighth best-selling album on the chart.[42] In March 2007, EMI reported that the album had sold 1.3 million copies worldwide.[43]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Change (Vinnie Jones Intro)"   Glenn Standridge, Tarsha Proctor-Standridge 0:35
2. "Girl They Won't Believe It"   Joss Stone, Raphael Saadiq 3:15
3. "Headturner"   Stone, Billy Mann, Otis Redding 3:16
4. "Tell Me 'bout It"   Stone, Saadiq, Robert Ozuna 2:48
5. "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now" (featuring Common) Stone, Alonzo "Novel" Stevenson, Tony Reyes, Lonnie Lynn 4:22
6. "Put Your Hands on Me"   Stone, Saadiq 2:58
7. "Music" (featuring Lauryn Hill) Stone, Stevenson, Reyes, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Samuel Michel 3:41
8. "Arms of My Baby"   Stone, Danny P, Jonathan Shorten 2:52
9. "Bad Habit"   Stone, P, Shorten 3:41
10. "Proper Nice"   Stone, Saadiq, Ozuna, Chalmers "Spanky" Alford, Vincent Corea, Jeanne Roberts 3:24
11. "Bruised but Not Broken"   Diane Warren 4:15
12. "Baby Baby Baby"   Stone, P, Shorten 4:34
13. "What Were We Thinking"   Stone, Saadiq 4:24
14. "Music Outro" (includes hidden track featuring Vinnie Jones) Stone, Saadiq 3:48
Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

The Benjamin Wright Orchestra[edit]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label
Austria[73] 9 March 2007 EMI
Germany[74]
Netherlands[75]
Switzerland[76]
Japan[45] 12 March 2007
Spain[77]
United Kingdom[78] Relentless Records
Denmark[79] 14 March 2007 EMI
Finland[80]
Norway[81]
Sweden[82]
Brazil[83] 15 March 2007
Australia[84] 16 March 2007
Canada[85] 20 March 2007
United States[16] Virgin Records

References[edit]

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Preceded by
Unwind by VanVelzen
Dutch Albums Chart number-one album
31 March 2007
Succeeded by
Maak me gek by Gerard Joling