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Angie Stone

Stone Love (J Records)

Angie Stone has always been adept at making quiet, third-date soul that knows just the line to feed you to get the candles burning low and your ankles over your head. Stone Love takes Stone's revamped old-school formula for good lovin' and transplants it to a block party imbued with a slow, summery funk that crosses generations and genres. "That Kind of Love" is buoyant Berry Gordy genius, while "Cinderella Ballin'" is all neo-soul snaps and synths. Floetry joins Stone for thick harmonies and a diva-fied shout-out to "My Man" before "U-Haul" delivers the world's sultriest "fuck you," slapping Stone's own Tyrone upside the head with a fat bass line. "I Wanna Thank Ya" (quite possibly the only thing Snoop Dogg has ever sounded classy on) is the blissful, leisurely stuff of falling in love again with someone you've known for 30 years. This is Stone's gift: Her mellow voice and subtly elegant songs remind us of the good things in life.

 
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