Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Angie Stone's New Album "Unexpected" drops Nov 24th!
R&B Star's New Album is 2nd for Legendary Soul Label Stax Records
R&B/soul luminary Angie Stone has never shied away from pushing her own limits and the limits of her music. With each new recording, with each next step in her career, she has consistently hit the world with something it didn't see coming. Her new album, Unexpected, set for release on November 24th from Stax Records (a division of Concord Music Group), encompasses a diversity of styles and influences that Stone has distilled over the years – rap, R&B, soul, funk and more – and weaves them together in a narrative that addresses life's ups and downs, but ultimately strikes a redemptive chord.
"I wanted this album to be something different," says Stone, whose 2007 Stax debut, The Art of Love & War, was her first album to top Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart. "I didn't want to make the kind of neo-soul record I had made in the past. That would have been repetitive."
But in the midst of mapping this new direction, Stone encountered a shock that even she didn't see coming. Mid-way through the recording process, her father – Stone's spiritual anchor and creative mentor since her childhood in South Carolina – passed away very suddenly. "It was totally unexpected," she says, "and that's where I came up with the title of the album. I really didn't think I could finish the project, because I was so grief stricken…I had to do a lot of the vocals a second time. I had to lean on my dad's wisdom and energy, and try to be open to what he would have wanted me to do in order to finish the songs. I can say that his spirit was literally there in the studio with me, and I'm grateful for that."
Out of this tragedy comes Unexpected, the next step forward for Stone, a stretch beyond whatever limits – real or perceived – she might have been facing when the project began. From the get-go, the quick and funky title track – with its backbeat inspired by Sly Stone's 1971 hit, "Family Affair" – warns the listener to "Prepare yourself for just about anything." Equally energetic is the album's first single, "I Ain't Hearin' U," a song that decries rumor and gossip. The track is co-written by vocalist and songwriter Juanita Wynn, Stone's collaborative partner for several years.