Stone Hits: The Very Best [Alternate Tracks]

by: Angie Stone

Angie Stone came to prominence at a time when neo-soul divas were exploding faster than pop rocks. With the chart onslaught of Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, and Macy Gray, it was easy for Stone to get lost in the onslaught of media hype surrounding the movement. But, quietly and evenhandedly, she amassed a three-record set of smooth neo-soul and contemporary R&B numbers that rival and sometimes best the output of her contemporaries. So it seems premature in a five-year career to have a best-of compilation out, but these 15 selections (featuring a couple of newly minted tunes mixed in for good measure and buyer incentive) add up to a most satisfying listening experience. With her vocal delivery, Stone belts tunes out better than most (save for Scott, but comparing vocal stylings between the two is comparing apples and oranges), and covers some of soul music's more obscure classics, making them her own with reverence and ease. And it seems that with each new release she becomes more focused and distinct from her contemporaries, and as a result turns out one of the better greatest-hits compilations from this era. It will be interesting to see the direction Angie Stone travels next. [This reissued edition features a remix of "Wish I Didn't Miss You" and the bonus track "Gotta Get to Know You Better."] ~ Rob Theakston

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