Living Blues - p.47
"Stone's meld of emotionalism and elegance yet again illustrates the connection between what's usually categorized as 'blues' and more contemporary styles."
Personnel: Angie Stone (vocals, background vocals); Chino, James Ingram , Lalah Hathaway, Betty Wright (vocals, background vocals); Kendall A. Rideout, Sydney D. Lane, Dee Dee Davis, Jair L. Wright, Mike Marchand, Carlos McCullers, Malissa Rodriguez, Xitlali M. Villalobos, Demialma M. Herrera, Kendall A. Lane, Pauletta Washington (vocals); Ray Holloman (guitar, guitars); Michael Butler, Harold "Hal" Smith, Rayfield "Ray Ray" Holloman, Michael Butler, Erick Walls (guitar); Harold Smith (guitars); John Nettlesbey (synthesizer); Jon Nettlesbey (bass synthesizer, programming); Mike McClain, Mike McClain (programming); Gordon Chambers (background vocals); Ronnie Van (guitar); Greg Phillinganes (strings, keyboards, string synthesizer, bells); Dino Soldo (harmonica); Rex Rideout (Fender Rhodes piano); Adam Blackstone, Alex Al (bass guitar); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Tianna Vallen, Thomas Seabrooks, Juanita Wynn, Portia Griffin, Shamora Crawford, Diamond Stone (background vocals); Elijah "Vato" Harris, D.O.A., Sal "Lazyboi" Asad, Jonathan D. Richmond.
Additional personnel: Chino, James Ingram , Pauletta Washington, Betty Wright.
Audio Mixers: Victor Flores; Jon Nettlesbey; Khaliq Glover.
Recording information: ATM Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Doug's Dungeon Studios; Marvin's Room, Hollywood, CA.
The re-launched Stax label is an appropriate home for neo-soulster Angie Stone. Her 2007 album The Art of Love & War nods to classic styles, blending funk, soul, balladry, and R&B in one tasty package. The appearance of soul great Betty Wright on the album highlight "Baby" only strengthens the retro vibe. Yet The Art of Love & War is contemporary through and through. Shimmering with a modern, digital production sheen, the album is clearly steeped in urban contemporary R&B, more lush and languid than stripped down and raw. Stone is no mere puppet of the past (and apparently neither is the revamped Stax): her voice, delivery, and feel are all her own, whether on butter-smooth love songs ("Make It Last") or hard-swinging groovers ("Play wit It").