Kandia Crazy Horse nails the British soul girl vocal minstrelsy. I find myself liking Amy W. because of her unapologetic, endearing dementia but the phenomenon of Joss Stone unnerves me. It's like Mary J. Blige's voice got really thin and weak and sickly and went to live in Julia Stiles' body.
One wants to big up Allen, Winehouse, and Stone on the sisterhood empowerment tip for their brassy attitude and scathing kiss-offs to trifling men on these recordings. And it's interesting that they've emerged at a time when their male counterparts, such as Morrison — and David Gray and Chris Martin — seem to have "bitched up." Yet this gender power–reversal is sadly trumped by glaring issues of race and authenticity.