Angie Stone
The Art of Love and War

3 out of 5 stars
Reviewed for Coffeerooms by Mike JeffersonAngie (no relation to Sly and the Family) Stone has the Stax Record label, one of the bedrocks of soul music, behind her. These are the guys who came up with Sam and Dave, Booker T. & The M.G.s, Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes, to name a few. The execs at Stax are usually pretty good judges of talent. They should be able to pay a few bills with Angie Stone’s fourth album of fresh material, “The Art Of Love And War.”
Stone started out as a gospel singer, and she has the low register and control in her voice found in performers who started out in the pulpit. She began her mainstream career as a member of Sequence, a hip hop female trio, and was then a part of Verticle Hold, which had a hit with “Seems You’re Much Too Busy.” She’s worked with D’angelo, providing background vocals as part of his touring band (and producing a son with him as well). Stone’s been in demand as a back up singer for a wide range of acts such as Lenny Kravitz, Terry Ellis and Buckwheat Zydeco, and worked with Stevie Wonder on a remake of “Signed, Sealed and Delivered” for his tribute album. A sampler, (okay, a borderline plagiarist), Stone’s has nicked the O’Jay’s “Back Stabbers” and Gladys Knight and the Pips “Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)” for her backing tracks. But her most visible claim to fame may be her 2006 appearance on VH 1’s “Celebrity Fat Club.” Stone’s recognition factor may change if “Baby,” he Grammy nominated single, snags an award.