There was a time in the 90’s when R&B dominated the pop music world. Toni Braxton, Brandy, Boyz II Men, 112, SWV, Monica were just a few that used to always be atop the Billboard charts, predating iTunes. What the likes of Rihanna, Katy Perry and Adele are doing is what R&B used to do. Music tastes change and the dominating genre of music gets pushed aside for something fresh when the dominating genre gets over saturated, over populated and over played. Little hints likes Miguel, Tamar Braxton and even Bruno Mars are proof that slowly but surely, R&B is on its way back.
Not to take any credibility away for those R&B artists that have consistently been making R&B music for the past ten years and have been successful doing so, but R&B was once the dominating genre then got put aside for pop and dance music. Keyshia Cole is one who has always debuted well on the charts with every album she’s put out. Even in this pop/dance dominated music era, she has proven that she has a solid fan base and solid material. Newcomer Miguel is gaining popularity and critical acclaim for his sophomore effort “Kaleidoscope Dream.” The single “Adorn” has been out for awhile, but it is now that it is getting some well deserved attention. Recently performing the hit on Ellen with his smooth vocals and suave dance moves will only help his music reach the masses.Tamar Braxton, yes, sister of R&B royalty Toni Braxton, is working on an album and she gave the world a preview of whats to come with her first single “Love and War.” Laced with strings, bass a solid rhythm and blues beat, Tamar’s vocals fit perfectly.
Dramatically singing about love and passionately singing about sex in a sexy way is pure R&B. R&B turned into pop when the likes of Destiny’s Child got ahold of the genre. Adding more pop elements and singing about going out to clubs and about “Nasty Girls” is a part of what took the mystique of out R&B. TLC lost me with “3D.” I used to STAN so hard for “CrazySexyCool” and even for “Fanmail” even though that was a R&B/pop crossover, it still had elements of both that were a good medium. Toni Braxton’s “Secrets” was the epitome of a perfect album. “Un-Break My Heart” was THE song. If you remember that song, video and live performances, you know what I’m talking about. That was the “Call Me Maybe” of its day. That song was everywhere. Hell, Toni even decided a Spanish version was necessary so she could take over the world in espanol too. I used to listen to “You’re Making Me High” and I just liked the way it sounded. I had no clue that it was about about her masturbating and thinking about a man entering her. My little Rollie Pollie self was playing this in my mom’s mini van singing along like the song was written about me.
Let’s talk about one of my top 5 albums of all time, Brandy’s “Never Say Never.” That is the definition of great R&B with a tinge of pop influence. “The Boy Is Mine,” “Have You Ever?” “Almost Doesn’t Count,” Angel In Disguise.” OH.MY.GOSH. Every single song was a smash, album cuts and all. As big of a hit as “The Boy Is Mine” was, I still cannot get enough of “Almost Doesn’t Count.” A beautiful song with beautiful lyrics and a beautiful video to top it off. That song is one to play while having a nice home cooked dinner at home, candles lit with a bottle of red wine. Yes, please. I love Brandy and “Never Say Never” will always have a top 5 spot. Once, she came in to eat at the restaurant I work at and I had the day off. My friend sent a text asking “don’t you like Brandy? She’s here at the restaurant.” I almost cried. I almost drove to the restaurant and went up to her to say hi and touch her hair. I love her as much as I love a cheeseburger and fries. #love
What do you think? Is R&B on its way for a massive comeback or am I crazy and it never left? Who are your favorite R&B artists from the past and present? Let me know in the comments below, I seriously would love to know =)