TOP 10 POP/ROCK/R&B ALBUMS OF 2017
10) Eric Roberson - Wind
Eric Roberson is one of the best kept secrets in R&B and if you know you know… as this year he dropped the second (and third) installment of his Earth-Wind-Fire trilogy, and you best believe that this is simply more heat for the catalogue. God In You 🔥🔥🔥 Claire 🔥🔥🔥 Love Her 🔥🔥🔥 and Sky Is Green in particular is one of the best records I’ve ever heard, where as far as style is concerned sometimes simplicity is all you need in music, and Roberson can deliver those infectious melodies as good as anyone. Press play on the New Jersey native and get familiar with his incredible music that spawns back two decades of classic contemporary R&B.
9) Jidenna - The Chief
He can sing, he can dance, he’s got a whole lot of style and nuance to his music, Jidenna without a doubt is already one of the most versatile artists in the game. Even the raps are pretty decent whenever the concept has meaning (I’d pass on the braggadocious raps in favor of his thoughtful, introspective side), and put altogether this album certainly has something for everybody even if you don’t love it from start to finish. Even still Jidenna’s been around for a few years now and has certainly made himself a household name, which is why I suspect his sophomore album to be one of the most anticipated in 2018. In conclusion this is a better than decent debut studio album, and as stated before Jidenna is definitely a superstar in the making.
8) Sampha - Process
Soul music from the other side of the Atlantic , Sampha is the British singer, songwriter, and producer who has previously collaborated with Drake, Kanye West, and Solange to name a few, and more recently this year released his debut album Process to much critical acclaim. Personally I won’t hesitate to call this album an incredible work of art, where from start to finish Sampha and main collaborator Rodaidh McDonald capture a sound that’s so distinct it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Yet this is the type of music that almost always gets overlooked and underappreciated in the moment, and likely only many years later will this album get the shine it deserves. For now it will simply remain a music lover’s best kept secret, and for that matter it’s impact is already significant enough.
7) Marc E Bassy - Gossip Columns
Marc E Bassy is a San Francisco native who is a budding superstar in the making, demonstrated clearly on his debut album Gossip Columns that in it’s best moments is better than The Weeknd and just short of The Dream - which in other words quietly puts this right between 24K Magic and Funk Wav Bounce Vol 1 in terms of undeniable quality. Thus as a result that puts him in some very impressive company, and as an artist and singer I expect Bassy to be a household name no later than 2018.
6) Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounce Vol. 1
The Scottish DJ/Producer Calvin Harris had a great year in 2017, talking bout Slide 🔥🔥🔥 Heatstroke 🔥🔥🔥 Feels 🔥🔥🔥 and for a minute it looked like Funk Wav Bounce Vol. 1 was set up to be a surefire smash hit, yet considering the quality of the aforementioned records the rest of the album somewhat plays like a disappointment. Even still to have 3 hit records (and debatably 2 other decent album cuts) within one year off one project is no small accomplishment, and for those 3 records alone this album was still one of the best of the year. Time will tell if the producer has more heat to his name in 2018, as some may wonder if all that fire was just a flash in the pan.
5) SZA - Ctrl
A year ago she was relatively unknown despite being billed as TDE’s first lady, yet now today she’s a household name with widespread critical acclaim, and all of that is thanks to the quality of music on what was her highly anticipated debut album. SZA almost has a Rock&Roll/JanisJoplin/FionaApple/AlanisMorissette sound to her style, in addition to what feels like an Erykah Badu influence that put altogether makes her artistry both unparalleled and unforgettable. Truth be told SZA’s mind, lyrics, and spirit are on an entire different level, and regardless of Grammy recognition she’ll likely be a major player in this game for years to come.
4) Miguel - War & Leisure
Pineapple Skies 🔥🔥🔥 Banana Clip 🔥🔥🔥 Skywalker 🔥🔥🔥 Told You So 🔥🔥🔥 Come Through And Chill 🔥🔥🔥 Miguel released his fourth studio album this year and it’s got more than a few great moments on it, where incredible production and features lends itself to Miguel’s signature sound that in his own lane is still undefeated.
3) Chris Brown - HeartBreak on a Full Moon
Yes it’s true that Chris Brown released a 45 track compilation this year known as the infamously long awaited Heartbreak on a Full Moon, which had promotional singles released for at least two years prior in spite of never seeming to gain any cohesion or direction in the process. Yet in terms of dropping 45 records on one project? Unbeknownst to many Chris Brown has dropped two prior unofficial projects of almost that same length, making him not only peculiar and unpredictable but also one of the most dedicated artists of the time period. Nonetheless within 45 records there’s at least twelve to thirteen great records on there, and that’s a great reason as to why it’s worth it to press play on that 3 hours of music - or at least to come to LegacyArtsMedia to play through it’s finest moments.
2) Dvsn - Morning After
By now everyone should be familiar with the mysterious OVO group known as dvsn (pronounce division) made up of Drake producer Nineteen85 and Canadian singer Daniel Daley, who released their debut last year and now have released their sophomore project titled Morning After, which is indisputably some of the purest R&B to come out in a long time. If nothing else listen to Nuh Time & Keep Calm and the rest will be history.
1) Snoh Aalegra - FEELS
Out the gate the FEELS album is the “cinematic soul” that she’s branded her style to be, and with NO I.D.’s production and direction Snoh Aalegra has clearly put together some of the most refined music of the last decade. From start to finish this album is close to perfect and if quality dictated popularity then this Swedish sensation would already be a global superstar.