Exclaim!'s Top 15 Soul and R&B Albums of 2016

Exclaim!'s Top 15 Soul and R&B Albums of 2016

Original Source

15. Maxwell - blackSUMMERS'night

Maxwell - blackSUMMERS'night
July 1, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
82
10 reviews
User Score
77
100 reviews
Maxwell is R&B, evolved; one hopes that other artists are taking notes.
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14. Tanika Charles - Soul Run

Tanika Charles - Soul Run
May 10, 2016
Critic Score
80
2 reviews
User Score
78
1 review

13. King - We Are King

King - We Are King
February 5, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
80
9 reviews
User Score
74
75 reviews
Sequencing issues aside, the strength of Paris' production is the biggest standout aspect of the project.
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12. Esperanza Spalding - Emily's D+Evolution

Esperanza Spalding - Emily's D+Evolution
March 4, 2016
Jazz Fusion
Critic Score
83
10 reviews
User Score
75
186 reviews

Emily's D+Evolution is a tough album to get a full grasp on. It's not a neat alter ego side project; rather than going the Chris Gaines route, Esperanza Spalding is again flexing her range, showing that her playing style and voice can find a home in any genre.

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11. Laura Mvula - The Dreaming Room

Laura Mvula - The Dreaming Room
June 17, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
77
9 reviews
User Score
74
41 reviews

With The Dreaming Room, Mvula has mined her personal conflicts to yield beautiful, boundary-pushing artistry. It's fearless, meditative, soulful and buoyant all at once.

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10. dvsn - Sept. 5th

dvsn - Sept. 5th
April 1, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
74
6 reviews
User Score
74
157 reviews

On Sept. 5, dvsn establish themselves as the cutting edge of post-millennial soul music, electrifying, absorbing and, at their best, downright mind-blowing.

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9. Jamila Woods - HEAVN

Jamila Woods - HEAVN
July 7, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
83
4 reviews
User Score
80
61 reviews

8. Charles Bradley - Changes

Charles Bradley - Changes
April 1, 2016
Soul
Critic Score
76
16 reviews
User Score
75
48 reviews

Bradley effectively draws you in with his voice and leaves you deep in thought with Changes, all the while grooving back and forth.

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7. NxWorries - Yes Lawd!

NxWorries - Yes Lawd!
October 21, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
79
17 reviews
User Score
76
118 reviews

The result is remarkable consistency across 19 tracks. Indeed, Yes Lawd! is an album best appreciated with complete play-through.

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6. Nao - For All We Know

Nao - For All We Know
July 29, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
79
14 reviews
User Score
76
122 reviews

The experiences feel lived and the emotional crescendos genuine, but the inferred vagueness of the title belies the certainty at its core: For All We Know is a masterwork.

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5. Rihanna - ANTI

Rihanna - ANTI
January 27, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
70
28 reviews
User Score
72
463 reviews

ANTI is perhaps her most complete and confident record to date. Where she manages to take things from here anyone's guess.

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4. BADBADNOTGOOD - IV

BADBADNOTGOOD - IV
July 8, 2016
Nu Jazz
Critic Score
74
19 reviews
User Score
77
178 reviews

While IV is extraordinary for delivering fresh music that elaborates on their past work, it feels particularly exceptional because of its forward momentum. 

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3. Frank Ocean - Blonde

Frank Ocean - Blonde
August 20, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
33 reviews
User Score
85
782 reviews

Blonde is chaotic. Vibrant, it colours outside the lines. Poignant, it's transparent with altering modes of bravado, vulnerability and desperation. It is, thoroughly, a Frank Ocean album, yearning for perfection, sating the audience's hunger for dynamism, yet with the persistent feeling that the artist feels it's all a failure.

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2. Anderson .Paak - Malibu

Anderson .Paak - Malibu
January 15, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
79
15 reviews
User Score
81
580 reviews

A rose from concrete, Malibu offers a sense of wonder that's carefully rooted in funk and soul, and presents a complete vision from a blossoming new artist that's not only fearless, but leading something of a sonic revolution.

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1. Solange - A Seat at the Table

Solange - A Seat at the Table
September 30, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
23 reviews
User Score
83
459 reviews

A Seat demands a careful listen, and rewards it richly. This is Solange's strongest album to date.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://exclaim.ca/music/article/exclaim_s_top_15_soul_and_r_and_b_albums-best_of_2016

MORE 2016 YEAR END LISTS:


Check out our 2016 Year End Summary.