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I have been a fan of Angie Stone for a while now and she is one of my favourite female singers in the Neo Soul sub genre. Her second album "Mahogany Soul" remains my favourite album of hers but she has more good music on her other albums and has released five studio albums with another one on the way sometime later this year or early next year. Her latest release is the subject for my review today. It's the latest of her five albums.
This was released in the UK on 8th February 2010 after being released in late 2009 in America. The album features collaborations with Ricco Barrino, Diamond Stone and Juanita Wynn and also "Dose". There are twelve tracks on the album and Angie Stone produced much of the album with the likes of Missy Elliot & Jazze Pha amongst others. The album was largely well received by fans and critics alike as another strong album from Angie Stone. Here's my review.
This is a catchy opener to the album, It features a quick catchy beat and some smooth backing vocals, the bass guitar comes in with a nice catchy hook and the song is soon into it's flow. It's a short introduction to the album and hints at what's to come on the album. Nice little introduction.
2.) I Ain't Hearin?
This is a catchy old school moment here with taut beats and an upbeat disco/soul feel which reminds me a little of Chaka Khan. It's a strong track with some excellent backing vocal parts which take the song to another level. It's not as good as the best tracks on the album but is an enjoyable up tempo moment which shows something a bit different to the slower ballads on the album. Good transition.
This is the first collaboration on the album, It features Ricco Barrino who I hadn't heard of before the album but he does a decent job on vocals with Angie Stone. The electro R&B musical style is reminiscent of Usher's recent material which works well here. I like the vocal delivery from Angie Stone and the flow of the song feels good. This is one of the better songs on the album and has a lot going for it. Nice vocals and a nice progression and of course decent subject.
This is a lovely chilled song with Angie's vocals on form. The simple beat combines with some lovely piano and smooth backing vocals. The track is about wanting to know for sure about whether a relationship will last rather than maybe all the time. I love the way the song sounds and Stone's vocals on this track are amongst the best on the album. It really is an excellent track which showcases her great voice and also the brilliant way she puts the song together. Great track.
5.) Hey Mr. DJ
This is a catchy moment on the album, It's a nice song with a smooth feel. Angie's vocals are on form as are the backing vocals. This is a feel good track about having a good time at a Club with your friends. It has a good message about letting your hair down and having a good time now and again to get over stresses you may have. I like the way the song develops and it has a nice feel.
6.) Kiss All Over Your Body
This is a more raunchy moment here in which Angie Stone sings about getting it on with that someone special, thinking about them when you are away from them. I love the music here which consists of some lovely keyboard tones and a nice percussion and beat mix. The smooth backing vocals really add a nice touch alongside the vocals from Angie. The song is up there with the best on the album and really showcases her lovely voice.
7.) I Don't Care
This track features Diamond Stone and Juanita Wynn, It's a catchy ballad which moves along well and Angie's vocals blend well with both collaborators to make a decent song with strong vocals from all. The track is about feeling good about yourself despite what others may say or do to try and bring you down. One of the best messages on any of the tracks on the album and it's performed very well too which is important to get the message across to the greatest effect.
8.) Why Is It
This is a lovely slow ballad which starts wonderfully with some nice keyboard tones and a simple yet effective beat. The backing vocals are lovely and Angie's expressive vocals are on fine form. The track is about when you loved someone but they didn't want you at the time but as soon as you are in a new relationship they seem to want you. This is one of the best songs on the album and features some fine vocals from Angie Stone and also her backing vocalists who provide lovely smooth vocals.
9.) Tell Me
This is one of the more uptempo cuts on the album, It features some electro style hooks combined with some hip hop style beats. Angie's vocals are put through a vocoder to create an interesting sound which combines with her normal vocals. there might be too much use of vocoder here but this is a pretty decent Club track which has the beats and hooks to dance to and is a decent enough addition to the album. "Dose" provides a decent enough collaboration.
10.) Think Sometimes
This is a nice soulful track which features lovely backing vocals which give the song a 70s soul feel. It's a very pleasant soulful ballad with decent vocals from Angie Stone and her backing vocalists of course. The track features some of the nicest and laid backed vocals on the album and has a lovely feel which is replicated on a few of the other tracks too.
11.) I found a Keeper
No this is not a Football Manager saying that he has found a decent Goalkeeper but Angie singing about finding someone special who you want to spend the rest of your life together, It's a lovely track which features strong lead vocals and again some fine backing vocals. It has a good message about finding that someone special and being in love. Good stuff.
12.) Unexpected (Reprise)
This is a short reprise of the opening introduction, It features the same musical feel with the excellent bass hook and some fine backing vocals. It's a nice end to the album and showcases the best bits about the album in a short package. Good ending.
This is another excellent album from Angie Stone, her vocals are in fine form and there are some excellent emotive tracks which really show off that voice and the backing vocalists really earn their fee with some lovely smooth vocals which compliment Angie's lead vocals. This is a strong album which shows she's still got it. Some of the tracks on here are amongst her best tracks and I have given the album five stars as even though I don't think it is quite worthy of all five it is worth more than the four. It's an excellent album that would suit any Neo Soul fan.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 I Ain?t Hearin? U
5 Hey Mr. DJ
6 Kiss All Over Your Body
7 I Don?t Care
8 Why Is It
9 Tell Me
10 Think Sometimes
11 I Found A Keeper
12 Unexpected (Reprise)