AllMusic 2015 Year In Review

Favorite R&B Albums -

 D'Angelo's long-awaited return with Black Messiah was the most hotly-anticipated R&B album of the year, but new records from Ne-Yo, Miguel, the Internet and Mark Ronson all held their own on our list of the year's best R&B.
Know-It-All

Alessia Cara

Know-It-All

Promising debut album from immensely likeable, teen-aged Canadian singer and songwriter who mixes pop and R&B.

Cheers to the Fall

Andra Day

Cheers to the Fall

Impressive ballad-heavy set of retro-soul made in collaboration with the likes of Adrian Gurvitz and Raphael Saadiq.

Dream

Angie Stone

Dream

A little more retro-styled than her previous albums, the singer's seventh set bounds from boogie to soul-pop and includes a fine Dave Hollister duet.

Return of the Tender Lover

Babyface

Return of the Tender Lover

The Soul Train Legend Award honoree's satisfying first original-material solo album in ten years.

Worthy

Bettye LaVette

Worthy

The soul diva is reunited with producer Joe Henry for another album focused on her peerless gifts as an interpretive singer.

In Another Life

Bilal

In Another Life

The soul dynamo's most stimulating work yet, produced entirely by psychedelic soul specialist Adrian Younge.

Stargazer

Carmen Rodgers

Stargazer

The Foreign Exchange associate's third album is her best set of modern, mature R&B yet.

Forever Charlie

Charlie Wilson

Forever Charlie

Featuring Jam and Lewis on a handful of cuts, another fine collection of upbeat love songs from Uncle Charlie.

In All Things

Columbia Nights

In All Things

Unhurried grooves and spaced-out ballads from the "soultronic" whiz-kid progeny of the Native Tongues and Soulquarians.

Black Messiah

D'Angelo / D'Angelo and the Vanguard

Black Messiah

Fourteen years after his second album, the enigma returns with a refined, outward spin on his loose mix of gospel, soul, funk, and hip-hop.

Talk

Daniel Johns

Talk

Debut album of lush alt-R&B from the former Silverchair/Dissociatives vocalist.

Dornik

Dornik

Dornik

Dazzling debut of sensitive yet durable R&B from a former Jessie Ware associate.

Invite the Light

Dâm-Funk

Invite the Light

A generous and uplifting dose of modern funk from Damon Riddick, joined by a supporting cast that includes Jody Watley, Flea, and Q-Tip.

Shadows & Diamonds

Elijah Blake

Shadows & Diamonds

Occasionally frustrating, ultimately promising debut from the co-songwriter of Usher's number one R&B hit "Climax."

Animal Nature

Escort

Animal Nature

A relatively collaborative round of dizzying dancefloor moves from the producer-driven disco orchestra.

Into the Deep

Galactic

Into the Deep

Once again, Galactic deliver a NOLA that's as vibrant and forward-thinking as it is steeped in second-line tradition.

Choose Your Weapon

Hiatus Kaiyote

Choose Your Weapon

A double dose of dizzying brilliance from Erykah Badu's and Prince's favorite Australian avant-R&B band.

Unbreakable

Janet Jackson

Unbreakable

A clean-cut and satisfying return after a seven-year absence, created with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Reality Show

Jazmine Sullivan

Reality Show

A wholly pleasing, relatively contemporary set from one of the planet's greatest multidimensional R&B talents.

Woman

Jill Scott

Woman

So varied that it resembles a compilation, the singer and songwriter's fifth album nonetheless contains several of the year's best R&B cuts.

You Should Be Here

Kehlani

You Should Be Here

The former America's Got Talent contestant offers a refreshing approach to contemporary R&B for young adults.

Anatomy of a Love Song

Kenny Lattimore

Anatomy of a Love Song

The best of the singer's sixth solo album evokes late-night, late-'70s and early-'80s R&B radio programming.

Lalah Hathaway Live

Lalah Hathaway

Lalah Hathaway Live

Excellent set of career-spanning material performed at the Troubadour, where the singer's father recorded a like-titled set released 43 years prior.

Freedom & Surrender

Lizz Wright

Freedom & Surrender

Backed by a new label and a mostly new crop of collaborators, the eminently graceful vocalist and songwriter continues to fuse styles with ease.

Uptown Special

Mark Ronson

Uptown Special

Another star-studded set of throwback party numbers from the producer, featuring the smash Bruno Mars collaboration "Uptown Funk."

Back 2 Love

Maysa

Back 2 Love

Featuring appearances from Phil Perry and Stokley Williams, the singer marks two decades as a solo artist with one of her best albums.

Wildheart

Miguel

Wildheart

Less pop-oriented than his hit second album, a Los Angeles-fueled set that revels in grinding guitars, erotic wordplay, and sludgy tempos.

Live in Seattle

Mindi Abair / Sweet Pea Atkinson / The Boneshakers

Live in Seattle

In concert with Randy Jacobs and Sweet Pea Atkinson, the saxophonist's musical wild side is on full, gritty, glorious display.

Non-Fiction

Ne-Yo

Non-Fiction

A rebound release from the dapper R&B singer and songwriter -- his best album since 2008.

City Lights, Vol. 3: Soweto

Nicolay

City Lights, Vol. 3: Soweto

Inspired by South Africa tour stops, another blissful travelogue from the Foreign Exchange's non-singing, one-man-band half.

A Better Man

Phil Perry

A Better Man

The great vocalist delivers a deep, soulful set featuring a new take on the Montclairs' "Dreaming's Out of Season."

Turn the Lights On

Rico Love

Turn the Lights On

Solid and varied debut album from a singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer who has worked with Usher and Beyoncé.

Bush

Snoop Dogg

Bush

Pharrell executive produces an excellent throwback album of disco and funk-flavored party starters.

Calling All Lovers

Tamar Braxton

Calling All Lovers

Even better than the singer's Grammy-nominated 2013 album, offering much more than the heartache its cover suggests.

Love Life

Tamia

Love Life

Seventeen years after her debut on Qwest, the Grammy-nominated R&B singer drops a low-key, drama-free Def Jam gem.

Cognac & Conversation

Teedra Moses

Cognac & Conversation

Worthy follow-up to the classic-meets-contemporary R&B singer, songwriter, and arranger's five-star debut.

The Mosaic Project: Love and Soul

Terri Lyne Carrington

The Mosaic Project: Love and Soul

The second installment in the drummer/composer's all-female band focuses on the jazzy side of contemporary R&B.

Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey

The Foreign Exchange

Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey

Top-tier R&B duo Nicolay and Phonte, along with songwriting/production partner Zo!, fill their fun fifth album with rich harmonies and warm grooves.

Ego Death

The Internet

Ego Death

One of 2015's best noncommercial (and band-oriented) R&B albums, a broad mix of romantic emotions conveyed in succinct, understated style.

Transgressor

Tunde Olaniran

Transgressor

Fearlessly eclectic Michigan-based artist makes powerful statements in favor of individuality and personal freedom.

Free TC

Ty Dolla $ign

Free TC

The L.A. MC and singer offers a diverse and weighty debut album with an all-star guest list.

Black Rose

Tyrese

Black Rose

A surprisingly modest, ballad-rich set, said to be the final release of the actor-singer's music career.

The Fun Rises, the Fun Sets

Van Hunt

The Fun Rises, the Fun Sets

Another distinctive, high-quality album from the sly and sincere soul/funk/rock fusionist.

Vivid

Vivian Green

Vivid

Made in collaboration with Kwame Holland, a largely upbeat set from an undervalued performer known more for heartache.