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An unexpected delight!
on November 24, 2009
Angie Stone's new CD "Unexpected" (aptly titled, as I had no idea she had a new CD out) is upbeat and sunny. Titled "Unexpected" due to the recent sudden passing of her father whom she was very close to, it might as well be because she takes a musical turn fans will find just that, unexpected! It is more contemporary R&B/Hip Hop than its Neo Soul predecessors, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, and have no fear, she hasn't gone all mainstream and done a Beyoncé or Chris Brown.
Opening and closing the album is "Unexpected", an upbeat spoken jam warning all to "Prepare yourself for just about anything." The pair of "I ain't hearin U" (a groovy soul song with an eighties feel), and "Free" (with nice synth-string flourishes and Stone reminding me of Akon in places) will get your feet moving.
"Maybe" is a lovely retro sounding piano ballad with lovely harmonies. "Hey Mr DJ" is a breezy horn-peppered song, perfect for the summer, while "Kiss all over your body" is a sultry ballad.
"I don't care" is a midtempo groovy Neo Soul number (a message to her haters), the ballad "Why is it" finds her telling her ex "Why is it someone else had to love me, for you to see, all that I could be?".
The upbeat auto-tuned "Tell me" might put you off at first (especially if you, like most, are sick of auto-tune), but it is a groovy grower done with class. Stone's vocals are interwoven with collaborator Juanita Wynn's for a cascading wall of sound, with a rapped bridge provided by Dose. "Think sometimes" is a throwback to seventies Soul, Staples Singers-style (with lyrics urging one to always count ones blessings despite all life throws at you), while the midtempo "I found a keeper" (sounding like a Soul girl group, complete with "Shoo do dos") is a sweet declaration of love.
As with Angie Stone CDs, there is no filler, but loads of killer.