'More Than Words,' which was released in the U.S. March 19, 2013, sounds exactly like vintage Brian McKnight. And although that might seem like a compliment on the surface, it actually means the album's stuck in the past.
singer Phil Perry's new album, 'Say Yes,' is the rare album that manages to take a collection of classic songs and breathe new life and energy into them. 'Say Yes,' which will be released in the U.S. March 12, 2013 by Shanachie Entertainment, is a smooth collection of both classic and new songs that has something to please R&B, Soul and Jazz fans alike.
Soul duo Lady has delivered some of the best modern-era Soul music of the past few years. Lady's self-titled debut album, which was released digitally by Truth & Soul Records March 5, 2013 and will be available in physical form on March 12, is a well-crafted, vintage sounding album that mimics classic Soul so well, you'd almost think that the singers traveled back in time to record the songs.
Alice Russell's 'To Dust,' which was released Feb. 26, 2013 outside the U.S., has the fiery vocal passion of Aretha, mixed with the lung capacity of Teena, making it one of the few albums released in recent years where the vocals are always the main attraction and don't take a backseat to super-producers or supporting musicians.
Although SWV's 'I Missed Us' is a well sung, well-produced album, it sounds completely out of place in, and out of touch with, the contemporary music world. Many of the songs sound like they could have been recorded in 2002 rather than 2012.
Melanie Fiona - The Bridge album review
It's obvious on Melanie Fiona's sophomore album, 'The MF Life,' that at the time the album was recorded, she was still sad and bitter over a bad breakup. Nearly all of the 13 songs on the album have stinging words behind them as she tells her side of the story of the failed relationship. 'The MF Life,' which was released in the U.S. March 20, 2012, is by and large an album with a dark cloud hanging over it.
Calvin Richardson - When Love Comes album review
Music mogul LA Reid may have seen enough potential in Marcus Canty on reality show 'The X Factor' to make him sign the Washington, DC native to a contract with Epic Records, but 'This ... is Marcus Canty,' which will be released in the U.S. March 5, 2013, is a relatively tepid collection of songs.
Although Tweet's 'Simply Tweet' is a five song digital EP rather than the full album we had been promised, fans will pretty much take what they can get at this point. And what they get here is a meticulously crafted, deliciously sung release that leaves you yearning for more.
Throughout his career, Jamie has straddled the line between Soul, electronic and R&B and this latest release just represents the latest step in his evolution as an artist. And this self-titled album isn't just a one-dimensional look back at the past; there's also quite a few innovative, futuristic songs here that sound several years ahead of their time.
Jamie Lidell - Compass Soul music album review
Avant's his seventh studio album, 'Face the Music,' which was released in the U.S. Feb. 5, 2013 shows that even though it's been 13 years since the release of his debut album, Avant's formula of strong lyrics, passionate vocals and tasteful song production hasn't grown stale
The film 'Think Like a Man' doesn't come out until 10 days after the soundtrack, so it remains to be seen if the film's a quality production. But if it's on the same level as the soundtrack, then it should be pretty good. The soundtrack, which was released April 10, 2012, is chock full of good songs by established and younger R&B artists.
Ne-Yo's 'R.E.D.,' which stands for Realizing Every Dream and was released in the U.S. Nov. 6, 2012, is a smooth blend of musical genres. And not just contemporary R&B and pop, but Euro dance music and a little bit of Country, as well.
The late R&B legend Teena Marie's 'Beautiful,' which was released in the U.S. Jan. 14, 2013, is a vibrant, well-rounded album with the same strong, powerful vocals Teena Marie fans had come to expect from her.
the first significant R&B-tinged album of 2013 isn't just forward-thinking, it's positively futuristic. Dawn Richard's 'Goldenheart,' released in the U.S. Jan. 15, 2013, is a mesmerizing piece of work.
Michael Kiwanuka's 'Home Again,' which was released in May 2012 in the U.S. and March 2012 in the United Kingdom, doesn't sound like a cheap imitation of '70s Soul or a watered-down replica attempting to cash in on nostalgia. No, the smooth, mellow Soul that Kiwanuka showcases here is real, genuine, warm and loving.
The formerly free digital album by The-Dream, 'Terius Nash: 1977,' which is due for release Dec. 18, 2012, is a bitter, hypnotic break-up album that still sounds as fresh and relevant as it did upon its initial release 16 months ago.
'What Christmas Means,' which was released in the U.S. Oct. 16, 2012 and is the first Christmas album by Detroit-based R&B singer Kem, definitely leans toward the spiritual; it's a collection of new and classic holiday-themed tunes that has its share of secular songs, but for the most part pays loving tribute to the true meaning of the holiday season.
On Cee-Lo Green's first Christmas album, the rapper-turned-singer delivers a kid-friendly, all-ages collection of songs that are a sharp change of pace from his usual brand of adult-oriented tunes. 'Cee-Lo's Magic Moment,' which was released in the U.S. Oct. 30, 2012 by Elektra Records showcases Cee-Lo's more warm-hearted side.
Alicia Keys' fifth studio album, 'Girl on Fire,' which was released Nov. 27, 2012 in the U.S., is a departure from the smoldering vibe that her fans had become accustomed to.
On her fifth studio album, 'Woman to Woman,' which was released Nov. 19, 2012, Keyshia Cole ups the ante to the point where the album sounds like a week's worth of episodes of the both the Jerry Springer and Maury Povich shows rolled into one.
As evidenced by her latest solo album, 'Floetry Re:Birth,' singer-poet the Floacist has no intention of letting the Floetry name fade away. 'Re:Birth,' which was released in the U.S. Nov. 13, 2012, mourns the past -- sometimes bitterly -- but also paves the way for a potentially bright future.
Anthony David's 'Love Out Loud,' which will be released in the U.S. Nov. 13, 2012, is a strong collection of intelligent, bone-deep R&B/Soul songs that have the ability to envelop the listener like a warm blanket.