Angie Stone

The Art of Love & War

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AllMusic Review

The re-launched Stax label is an appropriate home for neo-soulster Angie Stone. Her 2007 album The Art of Love & War nods to classic styles, blending funk, soul, balladry, and R&B in one tasty package. The appearance of soul great Betty Wright on the album highlight "Baby" only strengthens the retro vibe. Yet The Art of Love & War is contemporary through and through. Shimmering with a modern, digital production sheen, the album is clearly steeped in urban contemporary R&B, more lush and languid than stripped down and raw. Stone is no mere puppet of the past (and apparently neither is the revamped Stax): her voice, delivery, and feel are all her own, whether on butter-smooth love songs ("Make It Last") or hard-swinging groovers ("Play wit It").

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