Paste (magazine) - "Joss Stone, modern queen of the timeless old-school soul, has propelled herself into a project merging hip hop, reggae, world music and R&B....Throughout, Stone maintains her soulful vocals without resorting to diva histrionics."
Personnel: The London Session Orchestra (strings).
Audio Mixer: Steve Greenwell.
Recording information: Air Studios, London; Decibel Studios, Hawaii; Dream Lodge, NYC; Grip House Studios, NYC; Home Grown Studios, Devon England; Lakehouse Recording Studios, Asbury Park, NJ; Rhythm Shack Studio, New Orleans, Louisiana; Titan Studio, London.
Arranger: Jules 'Juda' Bartholomew.
The concept of Joss Stone's seventh studio release began to take shape following the formation of SuperHeavy, the multicultural, cross-generational group that released an awkward if free-spirited album in 2011, just before The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 materialized. Among Stone's bandmates was Damian Marley, who implored the singer to cut a reggae album. Stone was hesitant at first but conceded, perhaps realizing that a drastic switch in her vocal approach would not be required. (She wouldn't even have to avoid using the word "soul" in the album's title.) More importantly, Marley wasn't fooling. He followed through and co-produced this with Stone. The duo devised a set of songs that often uses reggae as a foundation but incorporates a familiar mix of soul, rock, and roots music with light accents from tablas, Irish fiddles, and flamenco guitar. Even when the album deviates most from the singer's previous releases -- specifically in "Way Oh," during its chorus and forced-sounding references to a "buffalo soldier," likely a nod to Marley's father -- Water for Your Soul always sounds like Joss Stone. Her voice remains in debt to classic soul as much as ever. Additionally, she continues to switch from emotion to emotion with full-bore conviction. It's all pleasant summertime listening, highlighted by the fluid and dubwise "Cut the Line." ~ Andy Kellman