25 Chart Takeaways: Drake Scores Fourth Number One Album 


Taylor Swift slipped to #5 on the Billboard 200! Isn’t that fact enough to make you want to read these chart takeaways? It should BE!  1) Drake hit the big time for the fourth time in his career. Surprise album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late debuts commandingly atop the Billboard 200. Was there…

Reasons Why Each 57th Grammy Nominee for Album of the Year Might Win


Sunday night marks music’s grandest occasion – the Grammy Awards! While there are four big categories, none is more coveted than album of the year. Not only is it the most highly desired, it almost always ranks among the most questionable. Save for a few homeruns (OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and Adele’s 21), one could…

D’Angelo’s Triumphant ‘Black Messiah’ Reenergizes R&B


D’Angelo and the Vanguard • Black Messiah • RCA • US Release Date: December 15, 2014 Arguably, an artist ‘out of the game’ for 14 long years has made the album to beat, right at the tail end of 2014. A comeback from one of neo-soul’s visionaries has long been rumored but to continual disappointments….

The R&B Malaise Continues: Sales Continue to Sag


R&B sales just aren’t what they once were – there’s just no other way to state it. When a major label R&B album is released these days, the expectation – save for a select few artists – is that it’s not going to sell. Sure, that’s a hella pessimistic view, but what has dissuaded such…

Mock Grammys – in July!


It’s July, but it is never too early to predict which artists/albums might be nominated for Grammys come December. 2014 has some strong candidates for the big categories, but there is also plenty of uncertainty, meaning that albums released late within the eligibility period could very well ‘change the game.’ But as of July, see…

12 Best R&B Albums of 2014 (Mid-Year)


It’s mid-year (or slightly past), and it’s time to catch up with some of the year’s best R&B albums. R&B is not dead, even if the Nielsen Soundscan numbers might lead you to believe otherwise. Previously, in April 2014, an early list of the best R&B albums was published. There are some noticeable changes and…

Mary J. Blige Shines on ‘Think Like A Man Too’


Review – Think Like A Man Too Cutting to the chase, there’s one reason why the Think Like A Man Too soundtrack is buzz worthy aside from the film itself – Mary J. Blige handles performance duties across all 14 tracks. In other words, rather than being a compilation like many soundtracks tend to be,…

Ranking 20 R&B Albums: January – April 2014


It’s near the end of April, and as a music journalist, I have been privy to listen to a number of albums in differing genres. Even so, I have a soft spot for R&B, but am also very hard on it. Despite my criticisms, R&B and I have a relationship like a Whitney Houston song…

Frozen Proves to be the Shining Moment on an ‘Ice Cold’ Albums Chart


Well, another week and another chart and guess who’s on top – yep you guessed it, the Frozen Soundtrack. While sales aren’t exactly hot across the board, the additional 133,000 copies that the unstoppable soundtrack sold are solid, particularly compared to the rest of the albums.   How sound is 133,000 copies? Well according to Billboard,…