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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » ENGLISH SOUL-SINGER JOSS STONE DIVES INTO REGGAE ON NEW ALBUM “WATER FOR YOUR SOUL!”

ENGLISH SOUL-SINGER JOSS STONE DIVES INTO REGGAE ON NEW ALBUM “WATER FOR YOUR SOUL!”

  • By Eric R. Danton—
Courtesy of Press Here Publicity

In some ways, Joss Stone’s new album, “Water for Your Soul,” is a departure for the big-voiced English soul singer. She and Damian Marley produced the 14-song collection, which has a pronounced reggae flavor with hip-hop accents. In another way, Stone says, the new direction was almost inevitable. “Water for Your Soul” premieres today on Speakeasy.

Stone worked with Marley in SuperHeavy, a supergroup that also included Mick Jagger,Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and Indian composer A.R. Rahman (“Slumdog Millionaire”). Such projects have helped expand Stone’s musical horizons. “It makes music more fun to enjoy all the different sounds of the world,” she says.

  • JossStoneWaterForYourSoul
    “Water for Your Soul” was an album years in the making, starting five or six years ago when Stone wrote the deep-groove reggae song “Wake Up,” which features toasting from Marley. “A lot of the songs relate to relationships so it is easier to remember as a timeline,” Stone says.

Along with a new album, Stone has launched what she’s calling the Total World Tour, in which she hopes to perform in every country on the planet. So far, she says, Swaziland in southern Africa has been her favorite gig.

“We thought we were going to play to about two people on the street and then we ended up in a beautiful venue called House of Fire and it was the most amazing venue,” she says.

“Water for Your Soul” is Stone’s seventh solo album. She was just 16 when she released her 2003 debut, “The Soul Sessions,” which included the White Stripes cover “Fell in Love With a Boy.” She mined soul and funk sounds on her subsequent releases, showcasing a voice that can be powerful and robust, or sweetly tender, sometimes from one line to the next.

“Water for Your Soul” is due July 31 on Stone’d Records/Kobalt Label Services. What do you think of the album? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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