Album: Joss Stone, Colour Me Free, (Virgin)

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The Independent Culture

Lambasted for that transitory transatlantic accent and locked in a dispute with her record label that has seen this arrive with little fanfare, at 22 years old, Joss Stone is finally earning the soul chops she so desires.

Her voice sounds less likely to cause her damage, her material is (until some saggy bits towards the end) strong and her choice of guests (Nas, Shiela E, Jeff Beck) impeccable. In short, CMF is better than it has any right to be. Interesting to note, too, that the album's title keeps its British spelling on both sides of the pond.