The Best RnB Albums of 2013
2013 has been a great year for R&B music. We have had Eminem releasing another great album, and a summer of listening to Blurred Lines and wondering what it really was about. Then there is also the secret album released by Beyoncé this year.
It has been said that R&B is evolving, with sounds influenced by technical innovations and electronic musical style. There has also been the use of Autotune in the R&B hits of 2013, giving the genre a futuristic feel.
Let’s take a look at some of the R&B albums we heard this year, and what made them so great.
Eminem: Marshall Mathers LP2
This is Eminem’s eighth album, and draws a great deal from his album entitled, ‘The Eminem Show.’ This album shows his regret for the things he has said and done in the past. One particular song which demonstrates this is ‘Headlights’ where he apologises to his mum for the harsh things he said in ‘Cleaning out my Closet.’
’Monster’ the song he performed with R&B star Rhianna, also features on the album. This song is claimed to come from the quote: “about the monsters that are around us and that live inside of us” and high lights Eminem’s recent personal struggles.
The newest album demonstrates his maturity, regret, and a new confidence in his place in music history. This album has received favourable reviews from critics and has been the best-rated Eminem album since ‘The Eminem Show.’
Beyoncé had a little time off, thanks to the arrival of Blue-Ivy. She came back fighting this year and surprised fans with a secret album. The unconventional release was due to Beyoncé becoming bored with the music industry, and wanting to try something different.
She said that, “Everything felt the same” after her last album was released and wanted to challenge herself.
It has to be said though, that she did do a little promo once the album was out. She took a trip to Wal-Mart and wished everyone a Happy Christmas over the tannoy, and naturally, she also encouraged people to buy her album.
The album has 14 new tracks and 17 stunning videos which were shot around the world, from New York to Paris. She collaborates with her husband Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean, Chimanmanda Ngozi Adichie and even Blue-Ivy.
Robin Thicke: Blurred Lines
Robin Thicke has been around for years; however it seems that he has been everywhere this year. He has been dancing with Miley Cyrus at the VMAs and has had everyone singing along to ‘Blurred Lines’ all summer long even if the feminists called the video sexist!
Robin Thicke also released a new album in 2013 entitled ‘Blurred Lines’. It has to be said that the album doesn’t have many other songs which have hit the charts, however the number one chart topper is the song of the year and makes the album great.
There is no doubt that this album is R&B with the majority of the songs following the theme of love and relationships.
Tinie Tempah: Demonstration
The album was set for release back in 2011 but there have been numerous delays in getting it ready. Two singles actually preceded the release of the full album, both making the top 10 of the Singles Chart.
On this album, Tinie Tempah collaborates with a variety of different artists and producers, such as Diplo and Labrinth. He has also gone on record as saying that some of the influences for the music on this album are fellow Brit R&B stars, Dizzee Rascal and So Solid Crew.
Kanye West: Yeezus
Kanye West came back with a new album in 2013. He hasn’t said too much about this album, however he did discuss some of the concepts behind the lyrics, one being that rich black Americans are still exploited by a white superpower.
The sound of the album is pretty different to Kanye West’s old stuff. The sounds are distorted, and there are uncomfortable sounds such as whining, drones, and a distorted glam-rock stomp. It is these sounds which divide opinion on this album. While some see it as a representation of Kanye West’s psyche, others see it as uncomfortable with off putting sounds.
This is one of those albums that you listen to over and over again. The first time you might hate it, but then after two or three more listens you will hear hidden jokes and more of an insight to West’s character and views than any of his other albums.
Chilled R&B album: Platinum edition
This is an all-encompassing R&B album with three CDs and 60 songs. This is the album for anyone looking for all the best R&B songs over the last ten or so years.
With so many great R&B albums in 2013 it will be tough to beat in 2014. However, there are some great albums set for release early next year, including a collaboration between R&B favourites Babyface and Toni Braxton. There will also be an album from Ashanti and Frank Ocean. Keep your ears out for these albums in 2014; they’re going to be good ones.