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Joy Jones: Stomping, Feel-Good Soul

So-called "broken beat" music — a subgenre of electronic music rooted in West London — is never more potent than when it's anchored by soulful vocals. Singer Joy Jones may not possess the world's richest voice, but in her infectious song "This Too," her soprano bristles with the flinty timbre of a Pentecostal gospel singer. The track finds her powering her voice over a sparse groove that's informed equally by Nigerian Afrobeat and church-revival stomp.

Jones' lyrics, which reflect on the trials and tribulations of everyday life, only heighten the testimonial suspense. "Seems like trouble finds you each and everywhere you turn / And your bills keep coming like you got money to burn," she sings as her background vocalists chime in. As the groove percolates, she reassures her congregation that when times get tough, "This too shall pass" and "Everything is gonna be all right." As her sermon reaches its apex, it's clear that Jones has written what may just be broken beat's best feel-good song yet.

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John Murph
John Murph writes about music and culture and works as a web producer for BETJazz.com. He also contributes regularly to The Washington Post Express, JazzTimes, Down Beat, and JazzWise magazines.