Confident & Mature
Angie's sophisticated, yet laid back singing style may not be for everyone, but for anyone in Angie's age group (mid-40s to early 50s) you'll eat up her style, which is semi-old school, but not out of touch with the modern era. Among the album's best material is the first single, "Baby," which features the incomparable Gospel singer Betty Wright. The two ladies' voice complement each other perfectly as they sing about someone who abandons his honey after finding success.
One of the refreshing things about The Art of Love & War is that even though the album's theme - and most of the songs - are about the ups and downs of of love and life, Angie sings about her issues in a mature, confident manner that's relatively low on histrionics and contains zero over-the-top drama. Even on the painfully personal relationship songs "Make It Last" and "Go Back to Your Life," there's a level of class and dignity that's missing in much of today's music, R&B and otherwise.
The album does take a few wrong turns: the funky "Play With It" and celebratory "Pop Pop" are too repetitive and don't quite fit in with the album's other 12 songs. But despite its small flaws, The Art of Love & War is arguably the best album of Angie's career.