For her fifth album, Joss Stone severs ties from her past couple of records and trims the fat. She recorded the album in less than a week in Nashville with Eurythmics' Dave Stewart. She started her own label. She even titled the 12-song project LP1. It's not necessarily a back-to-basics move for the British singer (she's 24 years old, how far back can she go?), but it is her most soulful and unfussy album since her 2003 debut. Stone states her purpose on the opening "Newborn": "Let's treat this day like a newborn baby," she belts out over an increasingly driving acoustic rhythm. The Nashville musicians give LP1 more natural shadings than those on the records that were supposed to make Stone a pop star, and Stone herself sounds more focused. She still can't carry an entire album, but at least she's back in her zone. —Michael Gallucci
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.