Originally posted to Blogcritics.org:
Very few R&B /Soul singers have what it takes to be a real star. The ones who do get a hit either become a pop phenomenon or fizzle away into one hit wonder history. There are also very few R&B/Soul singers who can cross over to other genres of music without spreading themselves too thin.
And then there is Angie Stone
Having three phenomenal albums under her belt (Mahogany Soul, Black Diamond and Stone Love), numerous hit songs, a budding acting career, and having worked with some of the biggest names in music today, it seems like there is nothing Angie Stone has not done. So what better time than now to release a record of her best and most recognizable songs?
Entiltled Stone Hits: The Very Best of Angie Stone,, this album is simultaneously happy, angry and nostalgic. Stone???s talent as a songstress and storyteller is what sets her apart from other singers.
Stone can make you feel nostalgic about a lover who has left as on ???I Wish I Didn???t Miss You.??? She can make you feel hurt at the idea of leaving, as on ???U-Haul??? where she sings about packing up and leaving a bad relationship. She can make you feel happy about being in love, as in ???I Wanna Thank Ya,??? (though sadly this version does not feature Snoop Dogg, which is a shame. The two have such a good dynamic together).
Actually, the songs where she does have guest singers, (???Stay A While??? with Anthony Hamilton and ???More Than A Woman??? with Joe, ???Brotha Part II??? with Alicia Keys and Eve), she works flawlessly with her partnered singer(s), their voices perfectly mingling with one and other.
Along with the album is a DVD of her in concert in Atlanta, GA, from when she was on her ???Silk and Sandpaper??? Tour. The DVD, which is a BET Production, offers up a choice twelve songs, an array of photographs of Angie Stone and an amazing concert. From the moment she walks on stage, Stone has the audience in her pocket. She is energizing to watch and engaging to listen. Her interaction with her audience is not one of a famous musician to her fans, but rather of one old friend to another. She begins the concert with the upbeat and danceable ???I Wanna Thank You??? on which she features MC T.H.C. She then gracefully continues through her set list, interacting with her audience continuously as she goes along. Some highlights in her performance:
She sings a duet with Anthony Hamilton (with whom she was touring) on the song ???Stay For A While.??? Stone seems a little star struck herself when Hamilton first comes on stage.
Towards the end of her concert, Stone asks all the men in the audience to rise and dedicates the following song to them. She then breaks into the songs ???Brotha??? and ???Brotha Part II.??? The camera pans across the audience and you can see women, turned to the men with whom they came, singing along with Stone.
For her final song, Stone invites everyone to get up and dance, before singing the Frankie Beverly-Maze hit ???Before I Let Go.??? It is indeed a perfect ending to what, for many, was probably a perfect night.
All in all, Stone Hits: The Very Best of Angie Stone is a perfect addition to any music collection.