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SOUL (NEO SOUL)

ANGIE STONE

Neo Soul Sista Number One

Ever since her breakthrough on the fertile R&B scene in 1997 when she teamed up with Devox on ‘Everyday’ (a smooth sophisticated Rare Groove styled song she co-wrote with D’Angelo that featured on the Money Talks soundtrack), one distinctively knew that this classy lady had Soul. Around the same time, the maestro D’Angelo was kicking up a storm with the track ‘Brown Sugar’ and of course, our fascination grew intensely when rumour had it that he was talking about his Soul Sista, Angie. By the time she dropped her debut album ‘Black Diamond’ in 1999 (containing the aforementioned track plus the magnum opus ‘No More Rain’), we sensed that we were witnessing an R&B evolution as during that time, there came a sudden influx of Rare Groove artisans who took their music back to the old school where smooth melodies driven by live instruments were key. Justifiably, all eyes were firmly fixed on the Lady of Soul when she released her compelling sophomore set ‘Mahogany Soul’ in 2001, unquestionably the ‘album of that year’. Joints like ‘Mad Issues’, ‘Brotha’ and ‘Snowflakes’ expressly became standards in what was then being moulded as Nu Skool, yet another Soul Sub-genre that catered for the needs the connoisseur requiring a fresher approach to their music.

The Nu Skool persuasion morphed into Nu Soul and then Neo Soul as it is now readily referred to and there is none better to represent the coolest output of R&B than Angie Stone! And whilst most may have exhausted their limited scope when it comes to producing fine music, into 2021, the Neo Soul Sista Number One is continuing as she started, throwing down her umpteenth set with a vengeance! The consummate and brightly polished Angie is as good as it gets. She conjures up sweet dreams of long summery days, the gentle rush of fresh sea breeze, champagne on ice and all that finesse with her songs. Yes, hers is the kind of enchanting music that I love to kick back to and so should you! What? Haven’t you been listening??

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