ThisisRnB Presents: The Top 20 R&B Albums of 2014

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Tinashe Aquarius Album

#4. Tinashe – ‘Aquarius’

Tinashe floated in to 2014 coming off high praise for her 2013 mixtape ‘Black Water,’ and she quickly became one of the year’s biggest young stars. All the hard work finally paid off and the stars truly aligned for the young Aquarius, who delivered her debut album, named after her astrological sign, in early October.

A perfect blend of urban pop, alt-R&B, and new age soul, the album has slightly been overshadowed by her massive breakout single “2 On,” but it deserves much more commercial success as it truly is one of the best releases of the year. From the murky opening title track, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter/producer shows there are deep complexities to her mind, and she is much bigger than a catchy club single.

On “Bet” Tinashe teams up with DJ Dahi and Blood Diamonds for a haunting declaration of her pursuit of success: “Pay no mind to what the doubters all say, I’ma be around forever, always, you can bet on it,” she sings. Underground hero Dev Hynes shows up to close the track with a melancholy guitar solo that works as the perfect progression to the dark and mesmerizing “Cold Sweat.” Here, Tinashe channels an angelic Aaliyah like tone as she sings about the evils of the entertainment industry. “This ain’t a place to be making friends they all got agendas / These eyes on your back, hands on your neck.”

It isn’t until the later portion of the album that she really shows off some vocal range, as she belts out on the ethereal “Bated Breath” about a relationship that only lives on in fantasy. “Love you like the rain, falls much faster / Living in a piece of…ever after / Forever after,” she sings.

The album ends with the rolling rumbles of a thunderstorm and things seem to wash away as smooth as they came in. Hopefully she maintains the electric spark that permeates this LP because the sky is the limit for Tinashe. – J.W.

 

10 Comments
  1. Whatever. 5 years ago

    uhm where is Guy Sebastian? Pretty crappy top 20 tbh.

  2. Worst top 20 ever. 5 years ago

    where my man Joe at? Bridges was dope!!

  3. rd1981 5 years ago

    I liked Mariah’s album as well. I’m still shocked that not to many people got to hear it. Dave Hollister and Johnny Gill and Dave Hollister’s albums were also pretty decent.

  4. mon88 5 years ago

    D’Angelo definitely had my favorite album last year.

    Chris Brown & August Alsina had some good albums too but that’s about it. I hope Badu and Soulchild come with some heat this year.

  5. bettie 5 years ago

    TINASHE

  6. Gremlin 5 years ago

    JMSN had the best R&B album of the year.

  7. Quezin 5 years ago

    R. Kelly had the best R&B album of 2014. #BlackPanties

  8. Kristopher Webb 5 years ago

    Glad to see Rochelle Jordan on the list. Her album was so good! Tinashe definitely deserved to be in the top 5 as well. Another great album!

  9. TUG 5 years ago

    Sorry But SexPlayList is the thing Omarion did.

  10. filip 5 years ago

    what about keyshia cole – point of no return and ashanti – braveheart?

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