Top 15 R&B Releases, Summer 2013
Ciara's self-titled fifth album headlines our seasonal roundup of R&B releases. Can she regain her mojo following two sales disappointments? The impressively sensuous Ciara indicates she deserves to, but pop radio's lukewarm attitude toward the genre may halt her progress. While not as brilliant as previous outings, The-Dream's IV Play is still a winner. Unfortunately, it seems like he's more beloved by music critics than record buyers. Reviews may be mixed for Kelly Rowland's Talk a Good Game, a pattern consistent throughout her career, but nearly everyone agrees that "Dirty Laundry" is a fantastic, heartbreaking and courageous song about her own domestic abuse. Can Laura Mvula follow Emeli Sandé and become the latest U.K. alt soul iconoclast to crack the U.S. market? Her Sing to the Moon doesn't have a "Next to Me"-sized hit, but it's a great album worthy of an audience. Listen to "Green Garden" for proof. Meanwhile, new albums from Joe, Fantasia, India.Arie and Chrisette Michele will satisfy their adult R&B fans. And don't sleep on new releases from Alice Russell, Quadron and Charles Bradley.