Last week, we looked at five great hip-hop releases that may have passed you by this year. Today, let’s show R&B artists some love and revisit five R&B albums that are a must for your collection.
Tyrese, Black Rose
Tyrese had bragged for months that Black Rose, allegedly his final solo album, would be the best R&B in years. Shockingly, this album almost backs up those lofty claims. Tyrese is blessed with a great voice but his albums tend to be a bit inconsistent. Not this time – Black Rose is a impressive set that embraces both R&B’s past and present. Best R&B album in years? Ehh, I don’t know about that, but it’s definitely one of 2015’s finest.
The Internet, Ego Death
The Internet, a soul band with ties to the Odd Future collective, has spent the past few years building an underground buzz. But it’s their third album, Ego Death, that has raised their profile in the mainstream – and for good reason. The Internet has mastered the fundamentals of classic soul and wisely packaged them to be relatable for younger ears.
Emily King, The Switch
My wife introduced me to Emily King’s impressive debut in 2007 and I was instantly a fan. She’s finally returned with her sophomore effort, picking up right where she left off. Warm, soulful vocals and well-written lyrics round out yet another impressive release.
Kenny Lattimore, Anatomy of a Love Song
When R&B fans debate the best male voices of the past 20 or so years, Kenny Lattimore is almost always left out of the conversation. That’s a shame because Lattimore’s vocals soar like no other, as this album proves. Lattimore slowly leaked singles for what seemed like years before finally delivering his fifth solo album last spring. It was certainly worth the wait.
Lalah Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway Live
Y’all can keep your studio singers. I’ll stick with Lalah Hathaway, who has the goods to deliver great songs without robots and scientists tinkering with her vocals. Her live album, which dropped just a couple of weeks ago, proves that her performances are unmatched.
What are some of your favorites this year? Let us know below.