Album Track Listing
Release Date: 28 June 2004
Reviewed By: Gerald Torto
1. Stoned Love (Intro)
2. I Wanna Thanks Ya - feat, Snoop Dogg
3. My Man - feat, Floetry
5. Stay For A While - feat, Anthony Hamilton
6. Lover's Ghetto
7. Little Bit Of This... Little Bit Of That (interlude)
8. You're Gonna Get It - feat, Dimond Stone
9. Come Home (Live With Me)
10. You Don't Love Me
11. Remy Red
12. That Kind Of Love - feat, Betty Wright
13. Touch It (interlude)
14. Cinderella Ballin'
15. Karma - feat, THC
16. Wherever You Are (outro)
17. I Wanna Thanks Ya (no Rap)
Streets - A
Grand Don't Come For Free
'The best album yet from the first lady of neo soul', reads the sticker on Angie Stone's latest effort 'Stone Love'. A bold statement considering the success and importance to neo soul as a whole that both ‘Black Diamond’ and ‘Mahogany Soul’ have had. Yet, with this effort comes a level of anticipation and curiosity. Curiosity, that questions not so much as to whether Angie can keep her sound alive, but how?
A collective group of contributors such as Anthony Hamilton, Floetry, Betty Wright and of course Snoop Dogg have gone a long way to ensuring the level of freshness remains a key characteristic. The upbeat, somewhat commercial first single 'I Wanna Thank Ya' feat Snoop Dogg is a hot summer jam that has an addictive chorus, whereby Angie's vocal authenticity in no way seems misplaced or compromised. Snoop Dogg's brief but effective rap is an inviting touch that brings home that hip-hop element. However, ultimately we (musical admirers of Angie) long for her soul side and this quota is more than satisfactorily filled with her collaboration with the unique soul stalwart Anthony Hamilton. 'Stay For A While' is unlike 'More Than A Woman' that was a ‘Mahogany Soul’ gem, but that’s a good thing. In its own way this track not only evidently displays the understanding these two share musically, but the exquisite blend of these two unequalled voices is a special musical moment.
The album is teeming with little delicate touches to create an uninterrupted journey that flows from beginning to end. The intro is a short harmonious vocal treat that repeats the album title. The interlude is instrumentally gentle but lyrically suggestive, and the outro is a pleasant sign-off. Minor touches that prove that Angie's simple attention to detail create a personal package.
In between these faint pauses lies a continued variance of the genres we associate with Angie. Missy Elliot's signature is all over the track 'U-Haul', not only in production but also in comparative lyrics such as "...this is tragic like when Michael left the Jacksons" and "like a pager with no clamp that's how you lose me". A laid back track, with more punch in its message than in its tone, is given luxurious musical weight with backing vocals from Missy herself, Tweet, Betty Wright and Angie’s daughter, Diamond Stone.
Diamond features more prominently on the delightful 'You're Gonna Get It' and the duet no doubt draws the mind to instant comparisons. Refraining from trying too hard, Diamonds verse and chorus participation makes for a more than pleasant listen and demonstrates that she too has skills.
The hip-hop element of old that is very much a part of Angie's background gets a mention with the track 'That Kind Of Love' featuring Betty Wright. Almost as if by formula, the chorus again is catchy and creates a genuine old-skool party vibe. 'Lovers' Ghetto' is a more recent variant of the hip-hop feel Angie is associated with, but the customary inclusion of samples is evident here, and despite the repetitive instrumental its inclusion is justified by its head bopping feel.
All in all, this album achieves what it sets out to do. A varied yet familiar blend of soul, R&B and hip-hop is successfully achieved and in this meshing of genres, Angie's voice in no way appears out of place. More sides of Angie's musical background are portrayed in this package and despite disappointing tracks such as 'My Man' and 'Cinderella Ballin'', this album is a great addition to the Angie Stone discography.
Favourite 3 tracks:
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