The highly anticipated 2007 album from the R&B diva, released on the newly re-activated Stax label. Angie's mix of Neo-Soul, Gospel and Funk mixes 'old school' with a modern sophistication. Includes the new hit single 'Baby' featuring the legendary Betty Wright and 'My People' with the incomparable James Ingram. Stax.
Angie Stone has soul to burn, as hordes of breathless fans who stand by the excellence of 2004's Stone Love
know, and despite a change in record labels and hairdos, her mighty reserves haven't dwindled--The Art of Love and War,
on the re-launched Stax label, is as full-bodied an affair as this old-school-leaning, incessantly self-exploring diva has delivered. The comparisons to Jill Scott should dead-end here: Songs like "Baby," with the gospel great Betty Wright, and "Sometimes," with backing singers who strut right through the beat and into the part of the brain that makes swaying happen, are all Angie. Which is to say their edges are never going to need sharpening, but they're also porous enough to let in softness and a sense of hard-won maturity. A couple of late-disc numbers pull off the excellent feat of also letting the funk in--"Play Wit It" captures a Lauryn Hill kind of cool, groovy but substantial, and "Pop Pop" goes for (and achieves) full-on fizziness with an undercurrent of sophistication. --Tammy La Gorce
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