Best R&B Album – 2012 TheDrop.fm Music Awards
Already 2012 is coming to a close and it’s time to take part in TheDrop.fm’s inaugural Best R&B album awards. This year saw a range of styles in R&B, as the genre parted ways from a hip-hop-centric sound and was brought back to its soulful origins, while some artists took euro-pop and made it their own.
On ‘Our Versions of Events,’ released in February, Emile Sande didn’t hold back, bringing the power of her voice on tracks like ‘Heaven,' She knows when to treat her lyrics gently on ‘Mountains,’ making the album complete in showcasing her versatility. Melanie Fiona sings the blues on her sophomore album, ‘The MF Life,’ released in March, pouring out her pains while leaving it all behind.
Sonically, Usher brought together a collage of music from his travels abroad and melded those inspirations into ‘Looking 4 Myself,’ which landed on top of the Billboard charts. R. Kelly returned with 'Write Me Back,' a mature '70s-feel, delivering upbeat vibes reminiscent of Barry White. Paired with his storybook songwriting, the effort was welcomed by his dedicated fan base.
Newcomer Frank Ocean moved R&B forward in a sense, with his album ‘Channel Orange.’ Combining the sounds of his predecessors -- some say Prince, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye -- Frank’s project brought listeners to a place where crackheads roam, rich kids have too much freedom and a heart needs healing.
Elle Varner’s unique raspy sound made her stand apart from the jump as ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ stood it’s ground with a balanced view of a young woman who has loved and lost -- ‘Stop The Clock.’ But she isn't too bitter to still live her life on ‘Oh What A Night’ -- as she should. Meanwhile on ‘Chapter V,’ Trey Songz continues his deliver club bangers like ‘2 Reasons,’ while still holding down his after-hours spot with ‘Dive In.’
In September, Miguel released ‘Kaleidoscope Dream’ after his song ‘Adorn’ began taking over urban radio. On this sophomore effort, he brings fans into a spacy, hypnotic realm, which is minimalistic and his delivery on each track remains slick and sensual.
With 'R.E.D.,' Ne-Yo remains consistent, creating songs with sticky concepts, evident once again on ‘Jealous’ and ‘My Other Gun.’ He also delves into some EDM sounds on ‘Let Me Love (Until You Learn to Love Yourself,’ a track heating up the Billboard Hot 100.
Alicia Keys' ‘Girl On Fire’ felt more cool than anything but the outcome was solid. With this fifth studio album that landed on top of the Billboard charts, the songstress stayed true to her brand of positive lyrics and themes, such as ‘New Day,’ ‘Listen to Your Heart’ and ‘Brand New Me.'
Who's got your vote for 2012′s Best R&B Album? Vote for the album you believe should take home TheDrop.fm’s Music Award below! Remember you can vote once per hour until the poll closes on Jan. 15, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST. Good luck!