R&B

Artist: 
Mac Ayres
Label: 
Fate Records LLC

Mac Ayres's "Drive Slow" was an album I knew I would like as soon as I took a listen to one of the songs, "Slow Down", one day. So, naturally, once I found this CD up for review, I knew i had to review it myself. Mac Ayres has wonderful R&B vocals that are soft yet masculine. His vocal style and lyrics are reminiscent of Khalid. Smooth vocals that don't have too much energy but not boring glide over each melody. His voice is clear and hits every note perfectly like a seasoned performer.

Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean = simple beats and professional vocals
Sounds Like: 
Khalid - lyrics are similar in style and both have great voices for R&B
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
11/14/2017
Artist: 
GoldLink
Label: 
RCA

This single is arguably the greatest single bop to come out this year. If you haven't already heard the track, which was released earlier this year as a single and then on GoldLink's debut album release "At What Cost", then I guarantee after hearing the vamped intro that fades into a simultaneous beat drop and infectious hook introduction followed by two verses, you won't be able to get it out of your head and you won't want to. Washington D.C.

Sounds Like: 
Kaytranada
Sounds Like: 
Anderson Paak
Sounds Like: 
Sango
Name: 
Kiara Johnson
Date Reviewed: 
11/08/2017
Artist: 
iLLism
Label: 
Self-Released

     On the very first track MNsota, all I hear is easygoing R&B meets Reggae meets Hip-Hop beat infused with strong female vocals from Fancy that are reminiscent of Lauryn Hill of the Fugees. I have instantly fallen in love with this band’s music. Plus, the male singer (Envy) can rap like NAS or any other Bronx-based rapper that I have ever enjoyed listening to.

Sounds Like: 
Easygoing R&B meets Reggae meets Hip-Hop beat infused with strong female vocals reminiscent of Lauryn Hill of the Fugees
Sounds Like: 
NAS or any other Bronx-based rapper
Sounds Like: 
Ms. Lauryn Hill's rap flow
Sounds Like: 
Feel good R&B songs of the 90s
Sounds Like: 
90s R&B background (beat-wise)
Sounds Like: 
90s Female Pop groups ( Like DREAM) married together with 3LW, TLC, and Destiny's Child
Sounds Like: 
Puffy Daddy
Sounds Like: 
Late Night Slow Jams with a deep voiced Barry White-esque singer
Sounds Like: 
90s R&B singers (like Joe, Tyrese, Brandy [particularly here song “Baby”], Usher
Sounds Like: 
90s Female R&B meets Trap
Sounds Like: 
"Papers" by Usher
Sounds Like: 
90s Dance
Sounds Like: 
Catchy Lyricism of the 90s
Name: 
Jon S. Rice
Date Reviewed: 
11/02/2017
Artist: 
Mr.Carmack
Label: 
Self-released

Mr.Carmack's "Everytime" puts an electronic spin to the soulful funky sounds of Daniel Caesar's "Get You." The song is a little more up-tempo than the original but it is no banger. There is no way to make “Get You” a banger. This track is just as chill as the original.

Sounds Like: 
Oshi
Sounds Like: 
WhereisAlex
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
10/26/2017
Artist: 
Nai Palm
Label: 
Sony Music Masterwokrs

Needlepaw strips down the instrumentals of R&B and exposes the voice behind it. Nai Palm had beautiful vocals and lyricism that dominate the album. This is her first solo album, as she is a member of the group Hiatus Kayote. Nai Palm layers her voice with melodies constructed by background vocals. The result is a whirlwind of vocals that speak to the raw emotion Nai Plam tries to create in her songs. In short, this album is absolutely lovely.

Sounds Like: 
Moonchild
Sounds Like: 
Madison McFerrin
Sounds Like: 
Jaala
Sounds Like: 
Hiatus Kayote
Name: 
Grace Penry
Date Reviewed: 
10/24/2017
Artist: 
Syd
Label: 
The Internet / Columbia

Although the neo-soul band The Internet have been pretty quiet this past year, their vocalist Syd the Kyd has not. Syd has since then embarked on a solo-career, simply going by the name Syd. Since then, she has been featured on a numerous amount of other artists' projects, from the likes of Common, Daniel Caesar, Vic Mensa and more, as well as releasing her debut solo studio album.

Sounds Like: 
Jhené Aiko
Sounds Like: 
Tinashe
Sounds Like: 
6lack
Name: 
Roy Santa Cruz
Date Reviewed: 
10/18/2017
Artist: 
SZA
Label: 
Top Dawg Entertainment

SZA's long-awaited follow up album to her 2014 debut EP "Z", "CTRL" is a vulnerable, dynamic, and honest musical commentary on the singer's growth as both an artist and individual on this 14 track album. "CTRL" boasts features from her fellow TDE colleagues Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad, rapper Travis Scott, James Fauntleroy, and bits of dialogue from both her mother and grandmother. Every song on this album is an absolute bop!

Sounds Like: 
Jhene Aiko
Sounds Like: 
Kehlani
Name: 
Kiara Johnson
Date Reviewed: 
10/04/2017
Artist: 
Daniel Caesar
Label: 
Golden Child Recordings

Fresh new sophomore album following Pilgrim's Paradise released in 2015. The debut album pictured Daniel Caeser falling. He rises in the new release. 

Refreshing to see an r&b male singer songwriter that doesn't bluntly sing about sex and getting high. Some lyrics are about those things but it's poetic and tasteful.

Sounds Like: 
H.E.R.
Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean
Sounds Like: 
John Legend
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
09/13/2017
Artist: 
Tory Lanez
Label: 
Self-Released

The New Toronto 2 by Tory Lanez is definitely one of my top picks for underrated music works in the past year.  It most likely flew under people’s radar being released in December. The transitions during and between songs astounded me, so much that songs like “Talk To Me Nice/Fargo” sounds like it could be two different tracks. This style works, however, it is reminiscent of Drake and keeps the listener drawn in.

Sounds Like: 
PARTYNEXTDOOR
Sounds Like: 
Bryson Tiller
Name: 
Selena Valencia
Date Reviewed: 
04/25/2017
Artist: 
Jidenna
Label: 
Wondaland

The Chief is the debut studio album from Wondaland artist Jidenna. Jidenna previously burst onto the scene in 2015 with the release of the critically acclaimed track “Classic Man”. Coupled with the instant hit remixed version of the song featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Classic Man” went on to be Grammy nominated and put Jidenna on the map. After a short break, Jidenna resurfaced with an incredible guest performance of his song “Long Live the Chief” on Marvel’s Luke Cage, which would go on to be the first single from the Album.

Sounds Like: 
Drake
Sounds Like: 
Janelle Monae
Sounds Like: 
Ty Dolla $ign
Sounds Like: 
Trey Songz
Name: 
Jude Fomeche
Date Reviewed: 
04/24/2017