2018 is almost over and this year has been an interesting year for music. From the success of the Black Panther Soundtrack to pop divas such as Ariana Grande, Normani, and Camila Cabello keeping the charts hot, there was something for everyone this year. Nicki Minaj, Drake, Childish Gambino, and Travis Scott kept the hip-hop fans on the edge of their seats, while R&B has made a subtle comeback thanks to newcomers H.E.R, Summer Walker, The Internet, Jacquees, and SiR. While music has kept us interested, musically, these past months, artists these last four months have brought some heat to us (maybe that’s why there’s rarely any snow out). Before the year is over, there are so albums that we need to listen to and we need to bop to. These albums don’t deserve to be slept on or go under the rug. These albums are perfect for end-of-the-year wind downs and for a New Year’s Eve playlist.
(1). Mariah Carey Caution
Through a few personal mishaps and public appearances that left people stunned and silent, there’s always one thing we can count on with Mariah; when she falls, she’ll bounce back like it never happened. Her latest album, Caution, is proof that true talent and legends can drop solid albums at any moment. While Mariah’s album keeps up with current music trends, this album does give fans her classic sounds and vibe, specifically from her Fantasy, Butterfly eras.
(2). Mike WiLL Made-It Creed II: The Album
Every year, there’s someone who’s New Year Resolution is to lose weight. I’m here to tell you this album is a motivator for the gym. This is an album that will get you on your feet and will make you want to achieve greatness. With appearances from A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, to even Crime Mob, you can’t go wrong with this album, whether it’s in the club or in your cycling class.
(3). Summer Walker Last Day of Summer
Personally, I was taken back by this album. In some songs, the Atlanta singer channels her inner-Amy Winehouse, lyrically, but in other songs, I have to give her praise and say she’s a female Bryson Tiller. Summer Walker did an amazing job of capturing the Bryson Tiller/Trapsoul/Trap&B sound while still maintaining her own artistry and storytelling. “Girls Need Love” is a banger and just the icing on top of the cake for one of the best R&B albums to come out this year.
(4). Brent Faiyaz LOST
You may know Brent Faiyaz for providing vocals on GoldLink’s smash hit “Crew”, but his latest EP showcases a vulnerable side to the R&B artist. Talking about hard-hitting topics such as trust issues, being independent, and handling fame in everyday life, I personally believe this is an EP that should have gotten more recognition and the respect it deserves.
(5). VanJess Silk Canvas
So, I stumbled upon this duo one morning while watching BETHer, (yes you all I’m one of those people who sleeps with the TV on), and their song “Addicted” captured my attention. When I found out about their album, I was amazed. The duo has a Zhane vibe, but their style and approach to music are much more along the lines of Solange and OSHUN. Their debut album Silk Canvas is that feel good, mid-90s neo-soul vibe we’ve praised so much.
(6). H.E.R I Used to Know Her: Part 2-EP
H.E.R has been a rising star in the R&B scene. Though her debut, self-titled album was released in 2017, she gained notoriety in 2018 with performances, hit singles, and her EP, I Used to Know Her: The Prelude. I Used to Know Her: Part 2 is a continuation of the first soulful EP and taps more into neo-soul side of H.E.R and her artistry in general. The “Best Part” singer even tapes into her gospel/inspirational side with songs like “Fate” and “Lord is Coming”.
(7). The Internet Hive Mind
The Internet is the R&B group that bring the funk, soul, and R&B with a sprinkle of hip-hop. While continuing to grow as musicians and touching on a variety of topics, the band has kept the same vibe as they did from their last album, Ego Death, while showcasing more of their musicianship and taking a backseat on the lyrics.