Angie Stone : Mahogany Soul

Well-made, but very boring nu-soul stuff...

Angie Stone : Mahogany Soul

5 / 10 While nu-soul princesses like Kelis and Alicia holler and strut and lash-flutter their way to hip acclaim, big-haired love goddess Angie has taken a far less flashy or faddy route towards the glittering throne of Soul Mother Number One. Where others are all bling and booty, this home-fried, silk-wrapped, honey-voiced, good-loving, back-in-the-day, Deep South smooch-siren simply smoulders and emotes in a classy, timeless manner.

And Christ, how boring is that? How many more dipped-in-chocolate hymns to the hackneyed Earth Mother images of soul food, ghetto solidarity, family bonding and cod-spiritual jazz-funk does the planet need? It's like having an entire series of Babyfatherpoured into your ears. Sure, soul draws from a deep well of tradition, but at least the Lauryn Hills of this world acknowledge that 'black' music has advanced a little since 1974. Two or three breezy George Benson guitar licks and Gladys Knight lip-tremblers per album are forgiveable, but 17 of the bleeders? Stone is stranded in prematurely middle-aged MOR.

Yes, she has a magnificently voluptuous voice, the colour of wood smoke and the consistency of treacle. And yes, the impeccable production on this, her second album, shimmers like a balmy tropical night. But all the Curtis Mayfield covers and Al Green riffs in the world can not redeem lazy therapy-speak bollocks like 'Mad Issues', soapy no-good-man dramas like 'Pissed Off', or humour-free PMT anthems called 'Time Of The Month'. No kidding.

Stone is Oprah Winfrey in musical form and this is Waiting To Exhale, The Album.

Stephen Dalton

To rate this track, log in to NME.COM

To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday


Please login to add your comment.

More Videos
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM