2015 was the best year in R&B since the ’90s … Go ahead, fight us on that…
Ok, maybe not exactly, but it was damn near close and we’ve been reveling in it all year long. So, with 2016 upon us and the same question – Where did the year go? – we spent the last month of 2015 re-listening, debating, writing, enjoying, and celebrating all of the amazing albums that hit our desks from a very wide range of artists.
Great R&B ruled in it’s current arena, which is Urban AC radio and independent labels, but it also slowly began to slide back into the mainstream. Veteran artists took strong stands for their beloved style, while young acts only born in the 90s just did what felt natural and real to them. Truth and authenticity ruled as the overall theme, even when it came in the form of a 60s soul revivalist or dark R&B protagonist taking over pop radio.
With open arms we welcomed the return of powerhouse female vocalists Jazmine Sulllivan and Tamia, and saluted male R&B lotharios Tyrese, Ne-Yo and Raheem DeVaughn. The legendary Janet Jackson surprised everyone and reminded us why she is Unbreakable. Newcomer Bryson Tiller stole the underground king trophy, and Miguel reminded us to let our Wildhearts run free.
The only thing that might have made it better would have been if Maxwell got off the beach and finally gave us the oft-delayed follow-up to BLACKsummers’night. Anyways, let’s toast to what’s to come in 2016, and flashback with us to 2015’s most notable albums with “The Top 20 R&B Albums of 2015” below!