AOTY 2019
Exclaim!'s Top 10 Soul and R&B Albums of 2015

Exclaim!'s Top 10 Soul and R&B Albums of 2015

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10. Janet Jackson - Unbreakable

Janet Jackson - Unbreakable
October 2, 2015
Critic Score
16 reviews

It's a successful return for Ms. Jackson, a grown-ass album that refuses either to pander or wallow in nostalgia.

9. Ibeyi - Ibeyi

Ibeyi - Ibeyi
February 17, 2015
Critic Score
16 reviews
This is, it's apparent, an album of ideas and feelings that were dying to come out, and Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi have expressed them with beauty and technical expertise beyond their 20 years.

8. Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too

Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too
April 7, 2015
Critic Score
23 reviews

None of it should coalesce, but it does. White Men Are Black Men Too is a perfect storm of influences and talent that make for an unforgettable album.

6. THEESatisfaction - EarthEE

THEESatisfaction - EarthEE
February 24, 2015
Critic Score
11 reviews

There are few artists who are as artistically uncompromising, and while EarthEE may not garner the duo many new fans, its quality will ensure it outlives the kind of transient hype they might have shot for.

5. Leon Bridges - Coming Home

Leon Bridges - Coming Home
June 23, 2015
Critic Score
17 reviews

Coming Home is a star-making vehicle that is solidly crafted, robustly traditionalist and palpably soulful. This is not just a nostalgia act; this is music from the heart, and the soul.

4. The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness

The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness
August 28, 2015
Critic Score
24 reviews

Beauty Behind the Madness proves that the Weeknd can thrive in the mainstream, and while the lyrics aren't overtly profound, he's proven that he is more versatile than previously thought, which is perhaps of greater importance at this stage in his career.

3. The Internet - Ego Death

The Internet - Ego Death
June 30, 2015
Critic Score
9 reviews

The beauty of Ego Death is in how it evokes the past without plagiarizing it.

2. Miguel - Wildheart

Miguel - Wildheart
June 30, 2015
Critic Score
27 reviews
It's an intrepid effort that gives a middle finger to today's "urban" R&B and rides a lane that mines elements of Prince rock, George Clinton/Parliament funk and Frank Ocean baroque pop to stand on its own, commercial considerations to the wind.

1. D'Angelo - Black Messiah

D'Angelo - Black Messiah
December 15, 2014
Critic Score
25 reviews

It is here, it is masterful, it is heartening and it represents today's best from an R&B/soul perspective. Black Messiah has come and we weren't ready.

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Songs of 2019 Playlist
Vinyl Me, Please