Mahogany Soul

Mahogany SoulMahogany Soul perfectly describes the rich, deep, and lived-in music Angie Stone makes. This veteran singer/songwriter, who was one-third of rap trio Sequence, led acid-jazz combo Vertical Hold, and had a major hand in creating D'Angelo's Brown Sugar, follows up 1999's critically acclaimed Black Diamond with another collection of grown-up R&B that's sexy, satisfying, and smart. Along with (wo)manning the helm herself, Stone links up with like-minded visionaries. Chief among them are Raphael Saadiq, who produced the single "Brotha," which moves with a purposeful, rugged, old-soul swagger, and Andrea Martin, coproducer with Swizz Beatz on the vibrant and aching "Wish I Didn't Miss You," which features a dope "Backstabbers" loop and Stone's husky vocals. At 17 cuts, there's a bit of drag, but not enough to deter you from Stone's wise and determined ease, and on the gritty "Twenty Dollars," Stone gives all those R&B princesses something to really chew on. --Amy Linden

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