July 12, 2004 12:00 PM

Stone Love

Along with Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and India.Arie, Angle Stone has been one of neosoul’s baddest sisters since, sporting an Afro that would make Cleopatra Jones jealous, she made her debut with 1999’s Black Diamond. On her righteous third album, Stone continues to carve out retro-’70s R&B rich in the tradition of greats like Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan and Betty Wright. The latter lends her down-home grit to “That Kind of Love,” a hearty slice of southern-fried soul. Other guest vocalists include Snoop Dogg (on the breezy summertime jam “I Wanna Thank Ya”), Floetry (on the funky testimonial “My Man”) and Anthony Hamilton (on the well-matched duet “Stay for a While”). But Stone, whose delivery combines the earthiness of Wright with the velvety smoothness of Sarah Vaughan, goes it alone on the humorous highlight “U-Haul” (produced and cowritten by Missy Elliott). Upon loading up the truck and leaving a no-good man, she slyly tosses off this disc’s best line: “This is tragic like when Michael left the Jacksons.”

R&B

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