Top 20 R&B Albums, Summer 2014
It's been just under a year since Robin Thicke released his platinum-certified Blurred Lines, and he's striking while the iron's hot with a new one, Paula. It's a bit early to accurately judge the reception to it, but early reviews have been unkind, which isn't surprising given how audiences turned against him after his last album blew up. Initial reviews of Trey Songz' Trigga have been more positive; it's one of his better albums, especially after the uneven Chapter V. Mary J. Blige's soundtrack for Think Like a Man Too should have been a laurel in a Hall of Fame-worthy career. Unfortunately, it's as mediocre as the romantic comedy movie that inspired her. We can't be mad at Michael Jackson's Xscape, though, because at least it has "Love Never Felt So Good." Kelis' indie project Food deserves props for its unique concept and revelatory lyrics, even if the resulting songs aren't particularly memorable. And we hate to beat a dead horse, but Mariah Carey really should have released Me. I Am Mariah ... The Elusive Chanteuse last year. She may have wanted to be "elusive," but by waiting so long after her "Beautiful" hit smashed the charts, she may have forfeited a much-needed career comeback.
Those are the big ones, but there are other albums in this roundup worthy of your attention, like Mali Music's Mali Is…, Sebastian Mikael's Speechless, Jose James' appropriately titled While You Were Sleeping and Fatima's Yellow Memories. Take a listen.