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Tag Archive 'Alternative R&B'

“That carefree and innocent look contradicts the sound of Little Dragon’s fourth album….Recorded in the group’s native Gothenburg and evidently affected by the region’s grim winter weather — as well as Janet Jackson ballads, and maybe a suffocating relationship – Nabuma Rubberband contains little in the way of bopping bop….[T]he group’s most accomplished work.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog [...]

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Kelis: Food

“Food sports a cover that doesn’t seem nearly bright or colorful enough to reflect its sound — an eclectic and modern-sounding synthesis of classic pop and rhythm & blues with a lot of friskiness, some funk, and even a little twang.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Neneh Cherry: Blank Project

“Compared to Neneh Cherry’s three proper solo albums, the last of which was released in 1996, Blank Project is from another dimension….From front to back, Blank Project is riveting uneasy listening.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Thundercat: Apocalypse

“One of the many charms of Thundercat’s first album, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, was the manner in which the supernaturally skilled bassist seemed to wing his way through songwriting — stumbling upon ideas, going with the flow, goofing off — and come up with brilliance. On his sharper, more focused second album, he works [...]

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Janelle Monáe: The Electric Lady

“Equally as detailed and as entertaining as The ArchAndroid….The album is sure to astound Monáe’s sci-fi/theater-geek following. Its second half cannot be denied by those who simply value creative R&B that owes to the past and sounds fresh.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Solange: True

“[T]he songs have a diaphanous new wave via synth funk sound that is much closer to Little Dragon than the Dap-Kings. The lyrics detail a busted relationship and provide aching, wistful, and frustrated contrast to the animated and slowly swaying backdrops….This is a promising prelude to Solange’s third proper album.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Frank Ocean: Channel Orange

“One listen to Channel Orange makes it obvious that he is as free as an artist as he is as a man. The album doesn’t have as many slyly powerful hooks as Nostalgia, Ultra, but Ocean’s descriptive and subtle storytelling is taken to a higher level.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Quadron: Avalanche

“[T]he album has all of the charm, nuance, and lingering effect of the debut. Lush, cushiony grooves are supplied….Those who were attracted to the first album’s quiet, lithe moments get some of the same through ‘Befriend,’ ‘Sea Salt,’ and ‘Avalanche’ — airy romantic ballads with perfectly slight touches of woodwinds, strings, and even pedal steel [...]

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“Adrian Younge conceived ‘Turn Down the Sound,’ one of the highlights from Venice Dawn’s Something About April, as an imagined RZA-produced ’60s Delfonics cut. Shortly after the release of that cinematic, psychedelic soul masterpiece, a fan put Younge in touch with the Delfonics’ William Hart. The meeting led to this, the best Delfonics album since [...]

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Bilal: A Love Surreal

“A Love Surreal is kicked back — lighter, slower, and steamier, more about flirting and lusting than personal and societal turmoil… ['Butterfly'] deserves to circulate as much Herbie Hancock’s similarly lissome composition of the same title. As a producer and songwriter, Bilal has stepped up. As a vocalist, he remains supernaturally skilled and creative — [...]

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Alice Smith: She

“Two of her first album’s many attractive attributes were the subtle and surprising twists in song structure and seamless genre fusions. They’re in steady supply here… She has enough skill and character to leave one hanging on her every note.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Rhye: Woman

“In 2010, Mike Milosh flew to Denmark to work on a Quadron remix with that duo’s Robin Hannibal. The collaboration grew into another duo, named Rhye… [A]n ideal fusion of the two instrumentalists and producers, whose sound is enhanced — never overstuffed — with horns, woodwinds, and strings, including harp. Tempos rarely break a breezy [...]

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“Few artists are as tough to pin down as Me’Shell Ndegéocello. Throughout her career she has continually thwarted attempts by industry forces who would attempt to define her. She’s a master bassist and a poignant, restless songwriter….Pour Une Âme Souveraine is the best kind of dedication to Simone: it invokes her inspiration rather than attempting [...]

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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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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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“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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