Accomplished neo-soul queen Angie Stone's second solo outing, Mahogany Soul, delivers more of the organic, gritty, rootsy yet sophisticated soul which put her on the map as a solo artist. The production is great and the songs are funky, mature, and intelligent, but when she truly shines is when she actually spreads her wings and glides away from her neo-soul trappings, which she manages effortlessly. The album's true gem is the smoldering, gorgeous, aching "Wish I Didn't Miss You," which pulls forward with an unstoppable beat and features a stellar, yearning performance from Miss Stone. Other highlights include the mesmerizing first single (produced by Raphael Saadiq), "Brotha," which draws the listener in with its atypical, almost hypnotizing beat. "Snowflakes" is a lighter-than-air, breezy winner, and her duet with Musiq Soulchild, "The Ingredients of Love," is silky, funky, and sweet. The album tends to wane toward the second half, with just a little too much emphasis on the neo-soul recipe, but nonetheless remains engaging with other winners like "20 Dollars," the sweet and easy "Life Goes On," and the organ-enhanced "Time of the Month" popping up to maintain the listener's interest. Despite a few lulls, Mahogany Soul stands as one of the best R&B albums of 2001 and keeps the listener anxiously waiting to see what Angie Stone will do next.
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AllMusic Review by Jose F. Promis
feat: Calvin Richardson
feat: Musiq Soulchild