The year 2021 has come to an end and we continue our look back at some of the best the R&B genre had to offer. We previously released our list of the Top 100 Best R&B Songs of 2021 in partnership with Soul In Stereo, and now we share our list of the Best R&B Albums in 2021.
We tried to narrow the list down to 15, but ended up with 17 anyway. It was a strong year for R&B music coming off of a 2020 that saw limited releases in the genre due to the pandemic. We never like to rank the albums, instead just celebrate quality releases, so the below is listed in alphabetical order. You can click on any of the album titles to be directed to listen to the album. Enjoy!
I know there might be some that are disappointed H.E.R and Jasmine Sullivan never made this list, but if you think those were top 5, 10 or even 15 R&B albums of this year, I think either you didn’t listen to enough R&B this year or your standards are very low. This is a great list! Shame Rochelle Jordan never made it though.
In my defense, I didn’t listen to much new music as I found myself going back to familiar older albums. Some of the new ones I listened to were really good such as Jam & Lewis, Anthony, Snoh, Raheem, Robin, Jojo.
I found H.E.R.’s album disappointing and uninspired, Jazmine on the other hand released an EP (let’s call it what it is)
Honestly, a pretty quiet year for me, but probably the first year in a while that showed some hope for R&B. After 7 coming back with some good old fashioned slow jams (I would have preferred more involvement by Babyface but it was solid with only one track), Silk Sonic combining the new and the old (short but solid album) and The Shindellas finally bringing proper vocals & harmony back to R&B.
That Jam & Lewis album came and went but was also a highlight for me.
I will have to check out Snoh Aalegra and India Shawn based on this list. If they use the same vocal tones that R&B artists have in the last couple of years, I’m not sure how I’ll go but always happy to try something that gets this much praise.