2014 has been a mixed year for R&B. There’s been some good and there has also been so bad. Even though R&B is still struggling, 2014 has allowed for R&B to have its moments. Then again, it’s also had its bombs…big time bombs.
The Good 🙂
Alicia Keys regains some lost swagger, besting John Legend for the Grammy award for Best R&B Album
Sharon Jones shows she’s back with a vengeance following cancer on her new LP (with The Dap-Kings), Give The People What They Want
Toni Braxton & Babyface perform better than expected commercially on Love, Marriage & Divorce (66,000 copies sold the first week)
Pharrell Williams’ G I R L debuts at no. 2 and sells a respectable 112,000 copies…
The Recording Academy finally recognizes Robin Thicke with multiple Grammy nominations, albeit in pop categories.
John Newman (Tribute), Daley (Days & Nights), and Sam Smith (Nirvana EP) bring top-notch Brit-soul to America.
Algebra Blessett delivered one hot independent R&B album with Recovery (eOne).
Electronic duo Phantogram give legendary soul group The Chi-Lites some love on their song “Bill Murray” (Voices), which samples “The Coldest Days of My Life”.
Bruno Mars was awesome at the Super Bowl. Classify him as pop if you want to, but Bruno has plenty of soul. Oodles of it!
The Bad 😦
Tamar Braxton gets no Grammy love for her powerful adult contemporary R&B hit “Love & War”… guess it didn’t matter how much she was fighting for love…
No Grammys for Fantasia’s Side Effects Of You? Guess that’s what happens when one is nominated alongside Rihanna.
Candice Glover debuts with embarrassing numbers for her debut R&B album Music Speaks; additionally the numbers are south of R&B contemporaries (no. 14, 19,000 copies)
Going back to that American Idol thing, Ruben Studdard released his sixth album, Unconditional via Verve. It got very few bites… that would be an understatement. But this again, his debut did have that song “No Ruben” on it… just saying!
John Legend doesn’t win a Grammy of any sort for Love in the Future, a truly brilliant, soulful affair… just wrong! Do we have no appreciation for one of the classiest, soulful artists of our generation?
Ashanti’s numbers suck (regardless of the “good” point)… 28,000 copies, really? #NOSWAG
British R&B singer Daley’s debut album, Days & Nights got slept on big-time… Where was the promotional intensity? Dude can blow vocally!
Ty Dolla $ign is, um, NASTY! Have you heard Beach House (EP)?
Did I mention R&B doesn’t sell like it used to? I thought so.