Best R&B Albums of 2008


Dez 28 2008, 14h34

Finally, below is the complete list for my selection of the best R&B albums of 2008, which I informed you of in my last journal. Now that the year is actually coming to an end and I've finished this year-end list, I don't really have many things to say about it, but again, a good number of well-made R&B albums have been released in 2008, even though none of them is, in my opinion, perfect or flawless.

About the top 5 albums, I'm quite sure that you will more or less agree with my selection. It may be too "neo" for some people, but I actually appreciate these albums for living up to the proper concept of neo soul, as each of these is a great mixture of the time-honored R&B tradition and modern creativity by a young artist of today, not to mention that all of the performing artists are great as singers.

Jazmine Sullivan is the best new artist of 2008 and has already become one of the greatest singers among her peers. Her debut album, Fearless, is a wonderful collection of fine soul tunes and I think it's really clever of Jazmine and her team not to fulfill the entire album with the "post-Amy Winehouse" retro-soul productions. Even though Salaam Remi, who also took part in Back To Black, produced four songs (and strings arrangement for another song) here, this album is more of "hip-hop soul with some Philly twist" and even includes soul/lovers-rock hybrid "Need U Bad" and StarGate-produced pop ballad "After The Hurricane."

Erykah Badu's first album in five years, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War), is more like a hybrid of underground hip-hop and experimental funk and its lyrical content is also like that of early funk music. I first loved the lead single "Honey," which is just included as a bonus track and doesn't represent the whole album at all, but it doesn't mean that this album was a disappointment for me.

I rank Beyoncé's new album 8th, but if she had only released the deluxe editon with more than 16 tracks, it could have been 6th. And if she had only released the standard edition with just 11 tracks, it could have been out of this list. Again, the bonus tracks definitely save both sides of the album.

Love & Life, where Eric Benét got back to his neo-soul root, is a pleasant surprise to me, as his last effort, Hurricane, was too much of adult contemporary and I didn't really like it. The sounds on Love & Life are varied from '70s-oriented soul and electronic funk to hip-hop soul and salsa pop, and you can enjoy Eric's great vocal performances all through the album.

In my honest opinion, I expected Brandy's new album to be a little better. Human is not a bad album at all, but it somewhat lacks a consistent texture for the whole album, something that her previous one, Afrodisiac, has on it. Anyway, Human contains such great tunes as "Long Distance," "Warm It Up (With Love)" and "Torn Down" and definitely deserves the top 10.

There is one thing in this post that surprises me even more than the existence of T-Pain in the top 10; Musiq's new album, OnMyRadio, isn't ranked in the top 10 or even in the "10 other notables" section, even though he's one of my most favorite R&B artists. This may be something like an aftereffect of his awful single "Radio," but honestly, I haven't been really into the whole album, either.

10 best albums:
1. Love Behind The Melody (Raheem DeVaughn)
2. Fearless (Jazmine Sullivan)
3. Something Else (Robin Thicke)
4. The Point Of It All (Anthony Hamilton)
5. New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) (Erykah Badu)
6. Thr33 Ringz (T-Pain)
7. Shine (Estelle)
8. I Am...Sasha Fierce (Beyoncé)
9. Love & Life (Eric Benét)
10. Human (Brandy)

12 other notables:
Lay It Down (Al Green)
Rockferry (Duffy)
Sketches Of A Man (Dwele)
Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition) (Janelle Monáe)
Joe Thomas, New Man (Joe)
Evolver (John Legend)
First Love (Karina Pasian)
Just Me (Keith Sweat)
Lyfe Change (Lyfe Jennings)
Year of the Gentleman (Ne-Yo)
Sol-Angel & the Hadley St. Dreams (Solange)
Tiffany Evans (Tiffany Evans)

Honorable mentions:
Discipline (Janet Jackson)
Thriller 25th Anniversary (Michael Jackson)


  • jlegend369

    Very well put together list!

    Jan 20 2009, 8h23
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