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Angie Stone, Joe, Chico DeBarge

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There are some things you can consistently rely on from a talent like Angie Stone. Among them? Her thick, rich alto, riding old-school grooves and tales of good love and love gone wrong. It's a familiar recipe, sure, but it's worked repeatedly for Stone, scoring her a solid (if predictable) catalog.

So maybe this is a little surprising: Emerging from the shadows of her 2007 release, The Art of Love and War, Stone told a U.K. publication that she feels confident enough to try something new. Hence the title of the forthcoming album: Unexpected!

The first taste of the disc is lead single "I Ain't Hearin' U." It's bouncy, up-tempo and can be considered a departure from Stone's usual fare, yet it still manages to cling to an old-school vibe. It's just more '80s R&B instead of '70s soul, that's all. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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Angie Stone, Joe, Chico DeBarge

Sharing this ticket with Stone, Joe continues his crusade as the quintessential gentleman lover, or a "Very Special Friend," as he suggested on his 2009 album, Passionate. Meanwhile, fellow opener Chico DeBarge is expected to push the latest from his 2009 release, Addiction, aggressively trying to recapture the spark he had with Free in 2003.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.