AOTY 2019
Exclaim!'s Top 10 Soul and R&B Albums of 2017

Exclaim!'s Top 10 Soul and R&B Albums of 2017

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9. Syd - Fin

Syd - Fin
February 3, 2017
Critic Score
14 reviews

Fin is a breakout party for a Syd, who seems grateful for those who have been supportive but has a keen eye on taking things to the next level.

8. Ibeyi - Ash

Ibeyi - Ash
September 29, 2017
Critic Score
15 reviews

Ash doesn't feel as world-shifting or momentous as their debut, but operates on a more intimate level.

7. Childish Gambino - "Awaken, My Love!"

Childish Gambino -
December 2, 2016
Critic Score
27 reviews

Almost every song on Awaken is a soulful, vintage delight — with the exception of "California," an infuriating interruption to an otherwise cohesive project.

6. Moses Sumney - Aromanticism

Moses Sumney - Aromanticism
September 22, 2017
Critic Score
15 reviews

With Aromanticism, Moses Sumney creates a harmonious world in which he speaks from a position that isn't often recognized. Sumney approaches the complexities of relationships, power structures and an inability to experience romantic love with a quiet, powerful confidence.

5. Daniel Caesar - Freudian

Daniel Caesar - Freudian
August 25, 2017
Critic Score
5 reviews

It's a carefully created album rooted in classic gospel and R&B, and a revelation in a world of sludgy alt-R&B, an outlier among overtly soulless genre takes hailed as the next thing because no one knows any better.

4. Kelela - Take Me Apart

Kelela - Take Me Apart
October 6, 2017
Critic Score
24 reviews

Whether it's the kiss-off on "Frontline," or the unabashed come-ons on "Truth or Dare," Take Me Apart is a subtle, sexy LP from a woman who knows what she wants, and clearly aims to write anthems for fans feeling the same way.

3. Thundercat - Drunk

Thundercat - Drunk
February 24, 2017
Critic Score
25 reviews

No matter how many musicians he showcases, no matter how many sonic avenues he takes, no matter how many tracks he squeezes in, Thundercat sounds undeniably and defiantly like no other on Drunk.

2. Sampha - Process

Sampha - Process
February 3, 2017
Critic Score
31 reviews

Process was a long time coming, but the wait has resulted in one of the most assured debut albums in recent memory. Even if it should take Sampha another six years to follow it up, the wait, I expect, will be worth it.

1. SZA - Ctrl

SZA - Ctrl
June 9, 2017
Critic Score
19 reviews
SZA's knack for marrying her assorted tastes into an intriguing sound is her strong suit, and coupled with her distinct vocal and songwriting abilities, she comes across here as a consummate artist.
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Songs of 2019 Playlist
Vinyl Me, Please