It’s always been obvious that R&B is supposed to dominate Valentine’s Day and its surrounding days, depending on when it falls. This year, both newcomers and legacy artists reclaimed their space. Ahead of her Super Bowl halftime performance, Mary J. Blige released her 14th studio album, Good Morning Gorgeous—her first in five years. The 13-track LP speaks to the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul’s healing, as detailed in her Mary J. Blige’s My Life documentary.
K. Michelle also returns to the scene this week, following her 2020 album All Monsters Are Human. Her single, “Scooch,” carries a feeling that’s reminiscent of love songs from the ’70s and ’80s, similar to recent works from Silk Sonic and Shelley FKA DRAM. Elsewhere, Sammie provides a soundtrack strictly for the bedroom with Satin Sheets, while Aiyana-Lee asserts herself as the one to watch with her debut EP, WEDNESDAY’S CHILD (SIDE A). The Basic Instinct reimagining within the “Gangster of Love” visual adds to that assertion.
Jazmine Sullivan, Cautious Clay, and Sevyn Streeter all released deluxe versions of their 2021 albums. Yet, it’s rising sensations like Alex Vaughn, Roann, Agnez Mo, Eli Derby, Zae France, and Melat who really stepped up with something to prove. If this is the new wave of R&B, the genre is in great hands.
Check out our favorite new releases below.
K. Michelle, “Scooch”
Roann and Jordan Hawkins, “Heaven On Earth”
Alex Vaughn, “Mirage”
AGNEZ MO, “Patience”
Eli Derby, “Love Song”
Melat, “The Lesson”
Mary J. Blige, Good Morning Gorgeous
Standout track: “Need Love” feat. Usher
Aiyana-Lee, WEDNESDAY’S CHILD (SIDE A)
Standout tracks: “Gangster of Love,” “Love U Later”
Sammie, Satin Sheets
Standout track: “Like Dat”
Cautious Clay, Deadpan Love Deluxe
Standout track: “Rapture in Blue”
Sevyn Streeter, Drunken Word Sober Thoughtz Deluxe Edition
Standout track: “High Life”
Zae France, Zae France
Standout track: “Tiffany”
Brandy Haze, Silhouette Vol. 2
Standout tracks: “Anxious,” “Voodoo”