Angie Stone The Art of Love and War

Angie Stone The Art of Love and War
After 2004’s underrated Stone Love, Angie Stone was dropped from Clive Davis’s J Records label and appeared on VH-1’s Celebrity Fit Club. The Art of Love and War finds Stone reclaiming her rightful status as one of soul music’s most talented and dependable artists. Like her 2001 masterpiece, Mahogany Soul, much of Love and War examines the trials and triumphs of romantic love. The overall theme is resiliency; it’s best illustrated by Stone’s duet with Betty Wright, "Baby,” a mid-tempo jam told from the viewpoint of a scorned lover. Elsewhere, Stone gets political with the rousing "My People,” featuring James Ingram, which espouses education and perseverance, and uses a children’s choir that name-checks important figures in Black history. It’s a welcome respite from many of the negative images that plague the current R&B scene. After a quarter century of ups and downs in the music world, The Art of Love and War is ample and comforting evidence that Angie Stone is here to stay. (Stax/Concord)