Reggae Sumfest 2018

Is Joss Stone's 'best-selling' reggae album really the best

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joss-stone.jpgBillboard Magazine named pretty blonde English singer Joss Stone's reggae album "The Best' because it sold the most copies during the year. And, by extenstion, Joss Stone has been awarded the title 'Best Reggae Singer', presumably because said album was the best seller.

My problem with Billboard is the whitewash (no pun intended). The fact is that Stone's album has proved to be the best selling in the reggae genre for 2015. However, that does not mean that it is anywhere near the best reggae album produced in 2015.

Joss Stone, who rose to fame in late 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, is undoubtedly more popular internationally than many of the reggae artises with whom she competed. Moreover, her fans are the type who actually buy CDs.

They would therefore buy a Joss Stone CD because of Joss Stone, rather than because it is a reggae CD.

Interestingly, in an article headlined "Joss Stone Falls Flat With Reggae Experiment" Stone is labelled by the Billbord writer as "a serial genre-hopper... switching from R&B to blues, funk to rock" and the Album itself is called "unconvincing", even though it is technically near flawless.

According to the writer of the Billboard article, "The songs are technically impressive, as expected from Stone, but unconvincing. She apes patois (on the bopping "Cut the Line") and even Barrington Levy's ¬signature "skippity bop" (on "Harry's Symphony") in wince-worthy fashion."

So it could be interpreted as sheer stupidity that an unconvincing reggae album on which the singer "apes patois" and is seen as "wince-worthy" is named as 'the best'. Something's isn't quite adding up here.

We echo the summation by one reader who noted: "WOW! that's a surprise or is it? A blonde lady sings a half baked album of reggae tracks with the rest of the album in standard RnB songs and wins Reggae Artiste of the Year. The genre is in a sad place.And to sweeten the pie or one might can say apply extra pain, the albums itself wins Reggae Album Of The Year."

As for me, I am only too happy that the Grammy's did not acknowledge it for a nomination. Even though a Marley, (in this case, Damion) assisted with the production and encouraged Joss Stone, who is his band-mate from the group Superheavy, to embrace reggae.

Reggae Sumfest 2018


Reggae Sumfest 2018