The year is slowly, but surely, coming to a close and, throughout it, we’ve been treated to an artistically inclined variety of music releases–majority of which have been received fairly well by fans and critics alike.
R&B Veterans Ciara and Justin Timberlake gave us impressively satiating comeback albums that we’d been anticipating for some time, while newcomers Ariana Grande and K. Michelle sung fresh melodies that proved they deserved a spot within our music libraries. The best part of this year, however, is that there is still so much more to come.
As we continue to tie up the loose ends of the third quarter of 2013 and gear up for the heavy contenders of the colder seasons, let’s recap the R&B songs of the year (so far!) that have become narrating cuts on the soundtracks of our lives.
1. How Many Drinks? – Miguel
The perfect pre-gaming song before the club and perfect ice-breaker at the bar, Miguel’s” How Many Drinks?” set the grown and sexy tone for the year.
2. The One – Tamar Braxton
A Notorious B.I.G sample combined with the effortlessly beautiful vocals of Tamar Braxton made her single, “The One,” an instant fan favorite.
3. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
Arguably the song of the summer, the Marvin Gaye-esque “Blurred Lines” gave Robin Thicke one of his career’s biggest hits and had every barbecue on fire.
4. The Way – Ariana Grande
The airy runs and infectious melody of Ariana Grande’s “The Way” prompted an immediate comparison of the Nickelodeon star’s angelic voice to that of legendary R&B Diva Mariah Carey.
5. Fine China – Chris Brown
“Fine China” marked the strong return of Chris Brown to pure R&B music–a mark that he had missed with most of the tracks from his previous dance-oriented album, “Fortune.”
6. Suit & Tie – Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z
A smooth, confident and charming lead single, which put an end to a seven-year hiatus, “Suit & Tie” showed us that Justin Timberlake didn’t need much fanfare to come back and dominate the charts again with style.
7. VSOP – K. Michelle
Once overshadowed by her aggressive reality TV persona, K. Michelle managed to still gracefully emerge as one of the few reality starlets to have a successful music career due to her very special talent.
8. Body Party – Ciara
You can almost never go wrong with a 90’s R&B sample and Ciara took full advantage of the guaranteed formula by putting out the cozy ballad, “Body Party,” infused with a familiar sample of lyrics and melodies from Ghost Town DJ’s My Boo.
9. Beautiful – Mariah Carey & Miguel
Mariah Carey and Miguel pair their dynamic voices for a bright and encouraging treat that is sure to transcend our times for it’s simple, yet beautiful message.
10. Mirrors – Justin Timberlake
A follow-up to lead single, “Suit & Tie,” Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” showed how much his own marriage has influenced his perception of the importance in a partner’s love.
11. Don’t Think They Know – Chris Brown & Aaliyah
One of the better executed songs of recent years electing to use vocals of late R&B icon, Aaliyah, Chris Brown’s “Don’t Think They Know” also pulls influence from Jon B.’s “They Don’t Know” making it a modern hit with 90’s flavor.
12. Kisses Down Low – Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland’s playfully flirtatious “Kisses Down Low” showed us another side of Kelly that was just a little more sassy and confident than her previous singles.
13. When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars
The eerily haunting single “When I Was Your Man” from Bruno Mars’ sophomore album, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” captured a feeling of post-breakup regret that we all can relate too.
J. Williams is a Contributor for Rated RnB. For more info about J. Williams, visit http://jwilliams.TV.