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Category Archive for 'R&B'

Now That’s What I Call Music! 43

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The Heavy: The Glorious Dead

“The Heavy’s third studio album, 2012′s The Glorious Dead is a bombastic acid rock, funk, and blues-soaked album that sounds like the illegitimate offspring of the Black Keys and Gnarls Barkley… The Heavy delve into various punk, dance, and blues-influenced sounds including the manic garage rock meets mariachi band anthem ‘Just My Luck’ and ‘What [...]

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Aaron Neville: My True Story

“My True Story is a smooth, mostly laid-back, and soulful recording by Neville. He provides a healthy — sometimes overly — reverential respect for the original material. Coupled with his vocals, these restrained yet imaginative arrangements offer some surprising twists and turns.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is

“An advantage Keyshia Cole has over a lot of her young contemporaries is experience. As a foster child growing up in Oakland, she went through a lot of downs, and from the sounds of The Way It Is, her first album, she’s had her share of complex relationships… Cole’s voice is sweet and ringing, like [...]

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“Black Radio creates an entirely new context for popular music in its near erasure of boundaries. It is the sound of the future — even if no one knows it yet.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Jessie Ware: Devotion

“If this isn’t the album of the year, it’s at least the art-pop album of the year, or the neo-sophisti-pop album of the year, or — beside Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange — the alternative R&B album of the year. As far as ‘proper music’ from the U.K. is considered, it belongs in a class with [...]

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The Weeknd: Trilogy

“Modern R&B is, no doubt, in the midst of an experimental renaissance — artists like Frank Ocean, Drake, the-Dream, and even Usher are expanding the genre’s sonic playbook by going darker and weirder, incorporating elements of dance-pop, trip-hop, and warped indie rock. Toronto youngster Abel Tesfaye (a/k/a the Weeknd) may not be the most visible [...]

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Alicia Keys: Girl on Fire

“Keys has rarely ever sounded so at ease, so downright sensual, as she does as her latest. It’s her first record since giving birth to her son, Egypt, and the newfound emphasis on looking inward recalls the mood of Beyoncé’s ’4.’ …[Y]ou can’t divert your ears from the magic Keys conjures on her own at [...]

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Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream

“Kaleidoscope Dream sounds, at its utmost, natural and easy, an artist set free to do what he wants and proving himself every bit the unique voice his debut seemed to deny. It’s respectful of tradition, quietly ambitious, and deeply personal, a wonderfully considered album from an artist who was starting to seem a lot like [...]

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Brandy: Two Eleven

“Brandy could have released another adult contemporary-oriented set, or linked with the dance-pop producers who have boosted many of her fellow artists. Instead, she made a modern R&B album. …Months after scores of music fans went bananas over an opportunistic resuscitation of a deceased peer’s studio scraps, Brandy, a superior vocalist ignored or disregarded by [...]

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“Born to Sing: No Plan B is Van Morrison’s first studio offering in four years and his second for Blue Note. …Uncharacteristically, he recorded the set in his hometown of Belfast with a crack sextet that includes a three-piece horn section with an alto saxophone. …Born to Sing: No Plan B is more jazz-centric, but [...]

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Elle Varner: Perfectly Imperfect

“It would be restrictive to compare Elle Varner to Chrisette Michele and Jazmine Sullivan, but the parallels are inescapable. As with her predecessors’ debuts, Perfectly Imperfect sounds like the assured work of a singer and songwriter — one who co-composes and co-produces her material — who is on her third or fourth album….Varner’s delivery is [...]

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Bee Gees: Greatest

“[A] perfect distillation of the sound that had put the Bee Gees on top of the pop music world from 1975 onward….On that basis alone, beyond the appeal of the songs (which is massive), this collection still exerts a strong pull. In fact, just about the only better way to recall the era is to [...]

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Michael Kiwanuka: Home Again

“Michael Kiwanuka is the promising British singer/songwriter who won the BBC Sound of 2012 poll. Home Again is his full-length debut… Home Again is a promising debut by an artist who will no doubt deliver big…” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“[T]wo new recordings, ‘Dance Again’ and ‘Goin’ In,’ tracks that feature Pitbull and Flo Rida, respectively, [are] cuts designed for the dancefloors of 2012. …These hard, cold constructions feel especially steely when paired with the fizzy, glitzy turn-of-the-millennium hits that turned Lopez into a pop star. Not all of her charting singles are here but… [...]

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Emili Sandé: Our Version of Events

“In 2012, Brit’s Critic Choice Award, a best new artist prize for the United Kingdom’s best talent, unsurprisingly went to Emeli Sandé, a woman being lauded for her crystalline voice and her immaculate songwriting skills… A true feature of this album is the sheer quality of the compositions, which, for lack of a better term, [...]

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Ne-Yo: In My Own Words

“Ne-Yo is a real talent as a songwriter, and as a vocalist he is unmistakably more concerned with serving the song than his ego. He’s not the flashiest vocalist, but he’s able to put across contrasting emotions with slight adjustments, and he balances toughness with tenderness exceptionally well — all of which are uncommon traits [...]

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Eric Benét: The One

“Throughout the 2010 album Lost in Time, Eric Benét referenced a number of ’70s sources, from the Philly soul of the O’Jays to the disco of Cheryl Lynn… The lush arrangements and openhearted sincerity in some of the ballads, such as ‘Real Love’ and ‘Runnin,’ recall the same decade.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“The Bravest Man in the Universe, an album that sounds like 2012 as much as it sounds like Womack: the rhythms belong to the modern world, the slow, shimmering grooves undeniably Womack’s, as he’s been specializing in this sound since the turn of the ’70s… He’s showing signs of age — his voice is etched [...]

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R. Kelly: Write Me Back

“Following the release of the retro-fitted Love Letter and evidently successful emergency throat surgery, R. Kelly was due for another abrupt turn with Black Panties, an album promised to continue in the vein of the classic 1993 album 12 Play. Instead, Kelly opted to prolong the nostalgia for older rhythm & blues. Write Me Back [...]

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