If you're looking for a present for that special R&B/Soul music lover, you're not alone. Unfortunately, one item that would have been a great gift, the DVD of the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, has been pushed back to 2010. But the good news is, there's still plenty of good stuff out there to give as gifts, some of which you might not even have thought of. So with a few gift ideas for you, here's the About.com 2009 Holiday Gift Guide for R&B and Soul music lovers.
It was a long eight years between Maxwell's third studio album, Now, and his fourth one, BLACKsummers'night (released in the U.S. on July 7, 2009), but the good news for his loyal fans is that the musical drought was worth the wait. It may or may not go down in history as one of Maxwell's best albums, but BLACKsummers'night is easily and by far one of the best albums of the year.
Tickets went on sale Nov. 9 for the 2010 Essence Music Festival, which takes place July 4 weekend (July 2-4) in New Orleans. The Essence Fest is the music festival for R&B and Soul music fans. The lineup hasn't been announced, but every year the show attacts the biggest and brightest stars in the industry. And in celebration of Essence magazine's 40th anniversary, the festival is offering $40 off weekend package tickets purchased through Dec. 18 at the Plaza and Loge levels. Click the link for full details.
'Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise,' Various Artists (CD/DVD)
Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise is a compilation of brand-new and not-so-new songs by artists like Stevie Wonder, India.Arie, Usher, Jennifer Hudson and others that share some common traits: optimism, hope for the future and a strong belief in positive change. Also included is a DVD with eight of Barack Obama's speeches that encapsulate the man's message and magnetism as a public speaker.
The title of India.Arie's fourth studio album, Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics, may be a little long, but its also highly accurate. That's because on the album sister India testifies about two things: romance and social issues. And although the love songs find India in a good place spiritually and emotionally, the political and social commentary songs show a different side of her: they reveal the soul of a woman who's very concerned with poverty and the well being of the people of the world.
If there's one word that sums up Brian McKnight's recording career, it's 'consistent.' If you've heard any of his albums or hit singles, then you know what to expect from him: beautifully sung ballads and mid-tempo tracks that men can relate to and women swoon over. And his latest release, Evolution of a Man, released in the U.S. on Oct. 27, 2009, is no exception. The album may represent an evolution, but that evolution - like Brian's music - is slow and steady.
Prince has been in the music game for over 30 years now, but not only does he show no sign of slowing down, his music somehow manages to still sound as fresh as it did back in the early 1980s. On his latest work, a three-disc set that became available exclusively at Target stores on March 29, 2009, Prince proves that although he's in his 50s now, he still can be just as cutting edge and vibrant as he was 25 years ago.
This first and only two-CD Motown Christmas Set unwraps 35 sparkling Motown renditions of seasonal favorites from just about every great Motown artist including The Supremes, The Temptations, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Boyz II Men and more. The album also includes more than a dozen Season's Greetings messages from Motown greats like Smokey, The Temptations, The Commodores, Martha & The Vandellas and others.