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.
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.
On Sept. 5, dvsn establish themselves as the cutting edge of post-millennial soul music, electrifying, absorbing and, at their best, downright mind-blowing.
Bradley effectively draws you in with his voice and leaves you deep in thought with Changes, all the while grooving back and forth.
The result is remarkable consistency across 19 tracks. Indeed, Yes Lawd! is an album best appreciated with complete play-through.
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.
ANTI is perhaps her most complete and confident record to date. Where she manages to take things from here anyone's guess.
While IV is extraordinary for delivering fresh music that elaborates on their past work, it feels particularly exceptional because of its forward momentum.
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.
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.
A Seat demands a careful listen, and rewards it richly. This is Solange's strongest album to date.