The best R&B albums of 2012

19 December 2012 - 08:27 By Lebohang Nthongoa

Here are my picks for the best R&B releases of the year. Enjoy!

1. Ne-Yo - R.E.D
One of the favourite reasons to get in my car is because I know I have this CD in the player. It has everything from slow jams to dance songs. I can see Ne-yo in my mind's eye for most of this song, how he would sing, dance and be in the videos to everyone of the songs on this album.

2. Estelle - All of me
Estelle is one of my favourite singers in general, although I have not tracked her career from the beginning. This album is supper happy, starting and ending with happy songs. The music in between is a breath of fresh air in that it exudes her happy state without being cheezy.

3. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You: The best of Whitney Houston
This posthumous release of the legendary singer's music is a collector's item, but one can't hope to get every one of her best songs in on album, there are way too many! I guess to avoid disappointment one can get the individual albums she released throughout her career, but this is a nice way her career has been tried together in one package.


4. Trey Songz - Chapter V
Trey Songz is hot property right now, he can't do anything wrong. Thankfully his music lives up to the hype. I do wish that the vulgar language on what happen to be my favourite songs on the album were not there, but it's a good album all round.


5. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
This is a favourite discovery of the year for me. Ocean has a voice all his own and his talent as a musician speaks for itself. He not only write great songs for other artists like Beyonce, but he has delivered a great album. Do yourself a favour if you haven't heard this man sing, get this album for Christmas!


6. Rihanna - Unapologetic
If there is a woman in music who has been the loudest this year in my opinion, it's Rihanna. Her personal life has somewhat overshadowed her musical accomplishments, but she has done great with this album. It's a rebellious album, as she means to come across at this point in her life, but it doesn't take away from the great songs on the album.

7. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
This is the fun factor of this list for me. No one does it like Nicki Minaj. She is in your face, loud and doesn't apologise for it. This album is vulgar in some place, as can be expected with a lot of rap music, but it's a must for Minaj fans.


8. Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don't
Rick Ross has been everywhere this year, including accompanying one or two West African artists in their songs. He is talented as a rapper, but also as the face of Maybach Music, a brand that he embodies and sells at every turn. The album is one for the Ricky Ross fan for sure, it does not disappoint.


9. Chris Brown - Fortune
Brown has been marred by the problems that came with the 'Rihanna drama', and everyone except Rihanna seems to have not forgiven him. I'm glad though that his album is well produced and his talent as a singer comes through on every song. I like this album and hope he keeps up the high standard of music with upcoming albums too.


10. Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire
Alicia Key's latest album is not my favourite of her offering, although it's good in its own right. It's only at the bottom of my list because it's still growing on me. I'm still stuck on The Element of Freedom, and I hope I get out of that to fully enjoy this album as Keys is a talented musician. The collaborations on this album give it good flavour and if I had to rate it I would give it a 6, and counting.