R & B

The 25 Best Albums Of 2014 (So Far)

July 12th, 2014 12:00pm EDT
The 25 Best Albums Of 2014 (So Far)
2014 has been filled with some exceptional music, and of course some duds to (no shade Robin Thicke). Impossible to include, listen, or review all of them, here is a list of 25 of the best albums, at the midway point of 2014 (January until June). Nothing is concrete until the end of the year, but many currently sitting at or near the top should definitely stick.

1) Pharrell Williams, Girl

While “Happy” is the star player of G I R L, there’s plenty more hits that solidifies Pharrell’s top ranking among the 25 best albums. “Come Get It Bae!” Number one overall seed!

2) Jack Whit...
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Trey Songz Tops With ‘Trigga’: This Week in Music

July 11th, 2014 9:48am EDT
Trey Songz Tops With ‘Trigga’: This Week in Music
Trey Songz once more has reason to celebrate. Despite selling just 105,000 copies of sixth album Trigga, a downgrade from his previous three LPs Chapter V, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, and breakout album Ready, it did secure the artist another #1 album. That’s right –Trey Songz took his salacious, libidinous, and hypersexual Trigga to the penthouse. #Swag.

To add more sweetness to Trey’s bittersweet numbers are three positive takeaways. The first is that Trey Songz far outclassed the second place album, Ed Sheeran’s former chart topper X by nearly doubling it up in sales (105,000 > 53,...
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30 Best Songs Of 2014 (So Far)

July 8th, 2014 8:00pm EDT
30 Best Songs Of 2014 (So Far)
2014 has delivered a wealth of exceptional new songs. Some songs truly captivate with their songwriting, while others are ‘records’ which standout because of their sound. Choosing only 30 songs out of a sea filed with truly terrific songs is difficult; this list provides 30 of the best songs from January through June 2014.

1) Sam Smith, "Stay With Me"

from In the Lonely Hour

Maybe he’s ‘too emotional’ and 'sucks at one-night stands' as he sings, but Sam Smith can definitely sing – that’s the understatement of the year. The soaring, highly relatable “Stay With Me” exemplifies Smith’...
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Review: Leela James Keeps Soul Alive and Well on ‘Fall For You’

July 8th, 2014 9:00am EDT
Review: Leela James Keeps Soul Alive and Well on ‘Fall For You’
Some of the best R&B singers are those who receive noticeably less recognition. Additionally, those same artists seem to try the hardest to keep soul flourishing. Regardless of its popularity, Leela James has faithfully been delivering soul for years. Latest studio album Fall For You, the artist’s fifth, doesn’t let up off the gas, remaining as soulful as everything else James has released.

Fall For You opens in electrifying fashion with “Who’s Gonna Love You More,” encouraging head-nodding and foot tapping with its soulful groove. Early on, James establishes command and control, show...
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Shade Central: 10 Musicians Throwing Shade

July 6th, 2014 3:00pm EDT
Shade Central: 10 Musicians Throwing Shade
Ah, that art of hating on others – shade. These days, any numbers of artists fight with one another, throwing shade left and right. With so much shade thrown, limiting the list to only ten artists makes the level of shade incredibly selective. This list contains the 'must-have shade' of some of today’s shadiest musicians.

1) Nicki Minaj

After winning the Best Female Rapper award at the BET Awards Sunday, June 29, Nicki during a colorful acceptance speech, Minaj cleverly threw shade, chiefly at Iggy Azalea: "...My point is – what I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is when you...
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Review: Trey Songz Triumphs On 'Trigga'

July 4th, 2014 10:30am EDT
Trey Songz Trigga
"They say all I talk about is sex." Yep, that’s about the size of it, and it's pretty big – no pun intended. The quote comes from modern-day R. Kelly and libidinous R&B artist, Trey Songz. Although the aforementioned quote is excerpted from an earlier song "Unusual" (Passion, Pain & Pleasure from 2010), it perfectly describes the unapologetic, sexed-up affair that is Trigga.

Given its degree of being oversexed, Trigga should be an 'epic fail.' Surprisingly, it's the exact opposite, as Songz delivers the album R. Kelly wishes he'd recorded. Trigga may be is shallow, but it’s brilliantl...
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Ed Sheeran’s Excellent Chart Numbers: This Week in Music

July 3rd, 2014 9:40am EDT
Ed Sheeran’s Excellent Chart Numbers: This Week in Music
Ed Sheeran should be beaming "ear to ear." Why? According to billboard.com, Sheeran moved 210,000 copies of his sophomore album, X (pronounced 'multiply'). That’s a healthy sum, particularly given the new normal that is album sales. With 210,000 copies sold, the takeaway for the British singer/songwriter is that he truly has a shot – at gold and maybe platinum.

Sheeran wasn’t the only artist experiencing a 'come up.' Rapper G-Eazy took his cocky and confident These Things Happen to #3. The 46,000 copies isn’t exactly 'the second coming,' but it's not too shabby either. Compared to ot...
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Review: Robin Thicke Sounds Desperate On 'Paula'

July 2nd, 2014 8:00am EDT
Robin Thicke - Paula
Not even a full year after Blurred Lines dropped, R&B artist Robin Thicke returns with a follow-up album, entitled Paula. Paula, named after Thicke’s wife, Paula Patton (with whom he is currently separated from), serves the role of heartbreak, reconciliation, and anachronistic retro-soul album. In other words, Paula is a 'jack of all trades' and a 'master of none.' Honestly, the only thing Paula masters is being a desperate, bore-fest.

Paula begins off-putting with "My Fantasy," a mix somewhere between Latin-jazz and adult contemporary R&B. The sound isn’t far-fetched for Thicke; it...
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5 Albums to Check Out : This Week In Music

July 1st, 2014 3:00pm EDT
5 Albums to Check Out : This Week In Music
Previously on 'Albums to Check Out' (June 24, 2017), Ed Sheeran’s sophomore album X served as the most highly anticipated album release. X had been generating buzz for a minute – several technically! Big 'guns' dropping new albums this week are Robin Thicke and Trey Songz.

Thicke and Songz both lay claim to a number one album on their résumés (Blurred Lines and Chapter V). That said, latest projects Paula and Trigga seem to have lower expectations. Regardless, both lead a list of five albums to check out July 1, 2014.

1) Paula: Robin Thicke

(Interscope)

Robin Thicke quickly retu...
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Lana Del Rey Outruns Competition On Billboard 200 : This Week In Music

June 26th, 2014 8:18am EDT
Lana Del Rey Outruns Competition On Billboard 200 : This Week In
Put aside all the "I wish I was dead" controversy for the moment, as the ever-controversial Lana Del Rey has reason to celebrate this week. According to billboard.com, Del Rey sold a triumphant 182,000 copies of her sophomore album, Ultraviolence. Ultraviolence was expected to top, as prognosticators correctly predicted sells in the 180,000 copies ballpark.

Del Rey outran a loaded chart week, specifically trumping golden boy, British R&B newcomer Sam Smith, who also hit it big selling 166,000 copies of In the Lonely Hour. Smith has no reason to hang his head in the runner-up spot part...
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