We’re slowly moving away from the heightened conversations related to toxic R&B—thankfully. With some budding singers reminding fans that R&B remains in good hands, well-known legends are maintaining their status with experimental, new albums. From new ballads by ’90s heartthrobs, to dvsn trying to move away from the narrative on “If I Get Caught,” to acts of today like Kenyon Dixon and Tiffany Evans showing the kids how it’s done…here are our top new R&B picks.
The Isley Brothers – Make Me Say It Again, Girl
Though we’re still trying to figure out why Quavo, Takeoff, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg are on an Isley Brothers album, this project is a solid 7/10. The titular lead single featuring Beyoncé set expectations high however, the blatant moments of them trying to keep up with wherever they think music is causes the LP to fall short. Ernie (70) and Ronald (81) really didn’t have to try too hard to make a great body of work, but if they were aiming to sing women out of their panties, that’s not happening with at least half of this album.
dvsn feat. Jagged Edge, “What’s Up”
dvsn returns with the release of their new single, “What’s Up” featuring Jagged Edge. Co-produced by Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox and dvsn’s Nineteen85, the record is their return to beggin’ a** R&B as they coo of ego-driven regret.
“When we were playing it for the twins [Brian and Brandon Casey] from Jagged Edge, they were so passionate about this song being super special and important for R&B, that they decided to bless us with their vocals and trademark harmonies to complete the emotion,” dvsn vocalist Daniel Daley shared. The visual pays homage to classic R&B videos of the past, evoking the melodic nostalgia we love—a welcomed change from the toxicity “If I Get Caught” exuded.
Jagged Edge, “Inseparable”
The famed quartet is back! With their harmonies and chemistry still in tact, the men sing about what it’s like to be “inseparable” from their partner. It’s an endearing, tender declaration and one that brings a promise of more with the group celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album, A Jagged Era.
Kenyon Dixon, “Getting Late”
Kenyon Dixon’s “Getting Late” is the lead single from his forthcoming album, Closer (Deluxe). A slight (albeit mesmerizing) nod to Donell Jones’ “Shorty (Got Her Eyes on Me),” this serenade is all about romance and the intimate experience that you never want to end once it’s begun.
Of the record, Dixon expressed in a statement, “It’s the perfect transition from Summer into Fall. It captures the nostalgia of The R&B we’ve always loved perfectly. Couple that with an innovative modern approach, allowing you to still showcase the progression of music overall and somehow it feels like the early 2000s all over again. It’s just one of them ones.”
Jawan x Tiffany – “Patience”
Let’s get back between the sheets and back to love with the help of real-life couple and musical duo, Jawan Harris and Tiffany Evans. The pair explained in a statement, “We wrote ‘Patience’ in the middle of the pandemic. We wanted to make a love song that was inspired by the feeling you get when you can’t wait to be with someone again. It’s about that whole experience of building excitement and anticipation for one another, but also hoping that the one you want has enough ‘Patience’ to wait and keep their focus on you.”
Craig David, 22 (Deluxe)
To commemorate his career spanning 22 years, the UK R&B legend we know and love as Craig David has released his latest work of art. What we love most about this album is that it merges both who he was and who he is. The soulfully enticing record with Muni Long immediately became a favorite during the first listen along with the nostalgic feel permeated on “21.” We’ve previously spoken on the greatness of “G Love,” but he also pulls back on songs like “Give It All Up” and “Gold.” Overall, this LP is worth the listen.
Dylan Sinclair feat. Destin Conrad and JVCK JAMES, “Open (Remix)”
Dylan Sinclair is one of R&B’s most promising stars and with the help of two other talents on the same caliber, Destin Conrad and Jvck James, fans are gifted the “Open” remix. Sinclair explained in a statement, “‘No Longer in the Suburbs’ represents my growth as a young guy from Toronto in this music game. This new ‘Open’ remix for me was about collaborating with two of my favorite up and coming artists right now who inspire me. Destin being from LA and Jack being from London, this track is just about having fun and making something that gets people moving.”
If you were recently wondering if R&B was in good hands, these three are here to tell you the answer is yes.
Roann feat. RL, “Love Doesn’t Live Here”
Rising sensation, Roann, is one of those voices putting raw emotion back into R&B. Enlisting the help of Next frontman, RL, the pair compliment one another’s tone and musicality well. Being known for his duets including “If You Leave” and “We Can’t Be Friends,” a bridge with the crooner would’ve been the perfect closure on the ballad, but nonetheless, this songbird’s future is quite bright especially with this being the followup to her single, “Heaven On Earth.”
Ciara feat. Summer Walker, “Better Thangs”
Ciara has reached the point in her illustrious career where she’s earned the right to have some fun. Her latest single, a duet with Summer Walker, continues on that path. Following the release on “Jump,” Cici was admittedly on a high. She’d just become the owner of her masters and inked a new deal with Republic. What appears to be happening is that Ciara is getting back to the joy she had on early records like “Oh” and “Goodies,” so if that means “better thangs,” so be it.