With one of the best songs of 2020 starting things up, Monophonics stretch an eight-song record to its wildest abyss. There are 35 titles here including some rarities and loads of great albums from The O’Jays, Archie Bell and the Drells etc. "Everything You Touch Is Gold" is quite the clever ode to a loved one that puts a subtle spin on the adage from King Midas who turned everything that he touched into gold. June 11, 2020Edward BowserAnna Moore, best of, Chika, CJ Fly, Conway the Machine, DVSN, Eminem, Freddie Gibbs, G.I. It's hard to have to know that Seremane's passing came as he and Cyr were on the brink of more, to hear such unique collaborations and wonder what could have been. Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1972-1986 Whether serving as encouragement for women, or delivering straight talk for men, Syleena’s message never wavers. But on their third release, the duo known as DVSN spread their wings a bit, branching out into records that run the gamut from the club to the Caribbean. Those strong themes and honest reflection give Ignatius the depth that some of Jada’s more beloved releases lack. But time and again, the most charismatic member of the Griselda gang delivers, and Pray for Paris is probably his most cohesive album to date. The themes of this year’s best music seems to center around, growth, maturity and unity. *National Airplay & Sales For The Month Of December 2020* Top 30 Southern … A few months ago, while I was playing this EP in my office, my wife popped her head through the door to ask who I was listening to and where she could get her hands on more. But when that song is this good, no one’s complaining. It balances emotional grit with almost uncanny sonic finesse in different ways from the low-gravity bouncing of faux-retro opener "Old Tapes" to the eerie, slow-motion finale "Brew". Best Jazz Albums of 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic halted live performance, the lifeblood of the genre, but a run of powerful albums — and standout debuts — provided respite, and hope. A proper soul record that smokes from start to finish is a fine way to mitigate the norms, social and otherwise. -- Scott Zuppardo. Of all his comeback attempts, Music to Be Murdered By, Em’s 11 studio LP, comes closest to his former glory. Neo-soul was born out of a necessity for the representation of … Her sly way of writing about sex seems anachronistic in the "WAP" age ("hard to think when I'm under you," she flutters on "Obvious"). “Unpredictable” is probably the best way to describe the chaotic past few months and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. And the toilet paper, my god the toilet paper. While those lyrics could be the most disastrous romantic lines ever, Little conveys them perfectly, his raspy but likable voice accompanied by minimal guitar chords and handclaps. I gotta admit, I was a little worried about the state of Mantic in the days leading up to its release. The best albums of 2020 so far Clockwise from bottom left: BC Camplight, Fiona Apple, Jay Electronica, Carla Bley, KeiyaA. I guess it’s time to ask the looming question: Is it time consider Freddie Gibbs one of the greatest rappers ever? I’m perfectly fine with that. Ro’s moody, off-kilter production and Prince-ly influences blend miraculously. They deserve shine, so that’s what we’ll give them here. ! When people ask me what makes a classic album, I repeat two key elements – incredible music that defines an era. "Brand New Day" regenerates a positive energy much as it did when it was first released in 2014. This mix of spirituality and sensuality has her declare "I'm born again" on the album's opening track "Bittersweet". It takes the free-ranging jazz sensibilities of her previous outings under the Jyoti moniker (follows 2013's Denderah and 2010's Ocotea) and gives them a next-level boost. 2020 is wild, I’m telling y’all. Did his lover turn his soul into gold, or was it already so, just waiting for her graceful presence to complement it? Leon Bridges loosens up a bit out of his stuffy old-soul persona, and Khruangbin thrive in taking a more ornamental role amidst a loose pop structure. Don Bryant's third full-length LP You Make Me Feel is one that does just that. It combines the raw funk and sheer power of early soul masters with a touch of mind-bending effects in a dub-like vein. Read this list. La Havas is now taking an active role in shaping her life. And don’t forget to follow us on Spotify for updates! If y’all didn’t know, Syleena Johnson is R&B’s Wonder Woman. With the release of his self-titled debut album, it is time to add Cassowary to the list of young artists who are moving 21st-century soul music in all kinds of intriguing directions. Groundbreaking albums you have to hear now. The album’s tracks weave perfectly into each other, so much so that the album feels like one long song. The first of two "Untitled" albums released this year by British trio Sault was announced to "mark a moment in time where we as Black People, and of Black Origin are fighting for our lives," according to their Twitter feed. I almost decided to skip our annual midyear review of hip-hop and R&B’s top releases due to the scarcity of new material. The more acoustic songs serve as just the other side of the coin in the way those old Stax singles used B-sides to promote the softer sides of their artists. Hot Slice Recordings. In the process of creating Disco, Minogue has captured the essence of what has always made her compelling: ignoring expectations and dancing the tears away. Kylie Minogue is well aware of the irony of releasing a dance-pop album called Disco during a year when going out to clubs isn't a good idea or even a possibility. "Bittersweet" sets the theme of the album. With the success of his 2017 debut behind him, it’s only right for Kevin Ross to continue the momentum. Directed by Pete Docter, Kemp Powers. It's tasteful without being slick. Updated hourly. The blend of Jamaican and NY influences give this an instantly fresh feel in a genre weighed down by monotonous trap. Simply said, if you can make it past "Chances" without a repeat, you're dead inside. You can hear the tension on the individual strings as they illustrate her sighs and innuendos. Until now, the duo of Daniel Daley and producer Nineteen85 stayed pretty close to their lane, delivering that “vibey” OVO Sound (pun intended) that made their labelmates famous. In 2020 alone, the Korean boyband released two albums, Map of the Soul: 7, and Be. A Written Testimony is about the journey not the destination, and with one of rap’s GOATs as his guiding light, has Jay Electronica finally delivered. -- Chris Conaton. Pristine vocals and a strong mix of upbeat tracks and midtempo standouts make Audacity Vol. Khusi Seremane sings it about love, but it's as true about any given dream. (*and before y’all go ballistics in the comments, as of the publishing of this post, no, I had not yet reviewed the Chloe X Halle album everyone is raving about at the moment. With the hushed background vocals and limited percussion, she delivers her vocal magnitude. And for anyone who's kept up with them since their debut, the mood has gotten noticeably darker, something The Cycle makes clear. This time, she adds depth through what is perhaps her best instrument, her voice. Member and producer Dean "Inflo" Wynton Josiah's sparse production leaves no note to waste for nearly an hour. Her eighth studio LP Woman, true to its name, is a tribute to womanhood, serving as motivation to her sisters and, if you wanna be real, wisdom to the brothers as well. Perhaps from the powers that be, perhaps not even in a political lean, but the theme strikes home for many of us in this day and static age. A proper soul record that smokes from start to finish is a fine way to mitigate the norms, social and otherwise. El-P especially sounds energized, delivering some of the most empowered bars of his career. Foster's approach to blues was never to wallow in pessimism. Tack on some thought-proving introspection and strong guest stars and you have the perfect ingredients for a standout debut. Well-polished and blissfully full, Thaba's Eyes Rest Their Feet is a stream of cool, downtempo melody. Take the seductive wail and brassy sway of Mingus' "Bemoanable Lady" and then listen to Muldrow's "gee mix" in which she snips it, chops it, and flips it, adding crisp percussion along with a haunting and swirling shriek. The brief runtime proves not to be a detriment; the party wraps up before it wears out its welcome. 25 must-hear R&B, Soul and fusion Jazz albums from the various flavours of new-age Soul Music to spin right now – Summer Walker, Lianne La Havas, Snoh Aalegra, Brent Faiyaz & More. Several of the songs on the Nashville via Brooklyn via Texas singer-songwriter's country-soul album wouldn't sound out of place on a Stax release from 1968. Featuring several originals paired with timeless covers, Live at the Paramount finds the Ruthie Foster Big Band bringing the house down. It’s encouraging to see that the art of album making still lives on. Grinding, it is full of hypotheticals, but honestly, I was a tactic to more. 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