Best R&B Albums of 2007


18 Dic 2007, 11:14

This below is my list of "Best R&B Albums Of 2007," but you may not agree to the selection and order of the artists on it because it downplays or even misses a lot of big-name ones who are supposed to be ranked high. Please don't be offended by this, which is just a personal year-end list from someone who prefers something like neo-soul and has recently felt a bit tired of more general styles in today's R&B music.

However on the list, there are even some albums that I'm not really sure whether it's proper to put there, such as As I Am, Lovely Standards, Always and especially Back To Black, because it seems that they may need to be categorized under some other genres like rock, jazz or pop than R&B. But again for the same reason, this is the list of "music that I love as R&B" and I don't think it's important what genre each album actually belongs to.

As I Am is not only the best R&B album of the year but also probably the best in Alicia Keys' career to date. I also love her previous releases including Unplugged, but this is incredibly a much greater work especially about its consistency and variety at the same time.

Wines & Spirits, the fourth album from Rahsaan Patterson, is as excellent as the previous effort After Hours, but I love how he tries different styles of music including even electronica and trip-hop this time. Anyway, is there really no major record company that wants to have him on its roster now?

Love Stories is the sophomore album from the songwriter-turned singer Gordon Chambers and it contains a bunch of well-crafted R&B tunes, some of which are soulful and funky, some of which are more pop-oriented, and all of them are very lively. "If It Wasn't For Your Love," which is written and produced by Gordon himself, is an excellent ballad.

On his fourth album and first under the Warner/Atlantic contract Luvanmusiq, Musiq Soulchild sounds smooth, intelligent and soulful as always and the lead single Buddy is one of the hottest songs in 2007. Nothing from him disappoints me.

I would like to call her a "rehabrity," but Amy Winehouse's chaotic personal life has nothing to do with her great musical works. She's actually the "Janis Joplin of our time" from several aspects, but of course, I wish she won't come to the same end as Janis. (Back To Black was originally released in October 2006, but then released outside the UK and gained worldwide attention in 2007.)

J. Holiday is the best new artist in 2007 and his debut album is full of fine hip-hop soul tunes, some of which are even better than Bed. He will be a great figure of modern R&B music soon in the future and should not be deemed as a "one-hit wonder" at this moment.

The self-titled debut album of Slovakian-born, Chicago-based R&B artist Tomi is simply amazing. He writes, arranges, produces and performes all of his music, which is really excellent and like smooth soul music at its finest.

The Real Thing: Words And Sounds Vol. 3 is the third studio album from Jill Scott and most "sensual" work by the Philly songstress ever. I think it's quite different in both words and sounds from the previous two studio efforts, but eventually as great as those.

Ain't Nothin' Like Me is the sixth and latest studio album from R&B veteran Joe. It has got only 4 songs co-written by Joe Thomas himself and is mostly produced by big-name producers such as Sean Garrett, Bryan-Michael Cox, The Underdogs, StarGate and Cool & Dre. That's a bit sad because I also appreciate Joe as a songwriter and producer, but this album is nonetheless very nice.

I Am, the debut album from Chrisette Michele, is a sophisticated, soulful and jazzy record. It's kind of tragic that this album hasn't sold as well as ones from fellow Def Jam artists such as Ne-Yo and Rihanna. Especially, John Legend-penned ballad "Love Is You" is a simply great song and showcases Lady Ella's influence on her.

Lost & Found, Ledisi's first album on major distribution, is a great album as well and I don't think it's inferior in artistry to the 10 albums above. If it had more of songs like "Lost & Found (Find Me)" and "The One" on its first half and "We Are One," duet with Rahsaan Patterson, were two times longer in duration, this would have made the top 10.

10 best albums:
1. As I Am (Alicia Keys)
2. Wines & Spirits (Rahsaan Patterson)
3. Love Stories (Gordon Chambers)
4. Luvanmusiq (Musiq Soulchild)
5. Back to Black (Amy Winehouse)
6. Back Of My Lac' (J. Holiday)
7. Tomi (Tomi)
8. The Real Thing: Words & Sounds Vol 3 (Jill Scott)
9. Ain't Nothin' Like Me (Joe)
10. I Am (Chrisette Michele)

10 other notables:
Lovely Standards (Amel Larrieux)
The Foundation (Devante)
East Side Story (Emily King)
Always (Gabrielle)
Lost And Found (Ledisi)
Veteran (Marques Houston)
Masterpiece (Nathan)
Because of You (Ne-Yo)
Lovehate (The-Dream)
PLAY (安室奈美恵)

Honorable mention:
21 (Omarion)


  • Di-chy

    shan2001, Thanks for the comment and glad to hear you basically agree with my selection. You're probably now making yours and I'm looking forward to it! Anyway, I think you'd like J. Holiday's album.

    20 Dic 2007, 14:11
  • Di-chy

    88DragonLithium, Thnaks for the comment and I hope you've enjoyed this post. Sorry but I haven't really appreciated the Shock Value album, even though Timbaland is one of my favorite producers out there. It's not bad at all, but Loose and FutureSex/LoveSounds are much better albums featuring the essence of Tim's current production styles, in my opinion.

    10 Sep 2008, 10:12
  • erikisPSYCHO

    Fantastic choices! Amy Winehouse, and J. Holiday were also some of my favorites back in the day! :D

    24 Ene 2011, 3:26
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