Sometimes you just need a break from all that experimental/avant-garde music. What better way to desensitize yourself than some good ol' pop music? Not to undermine the creation of pop music - it is incredibly hard to make something catchy, memorable, and well liked across the board. Just look at how many hits are pumped out day after day, yet we will only ever remember the songs that strike those three categories. So when you want to knock pop music, just remember the craft it takes to perfect it is incredibly difficult. The music itself doesn't sound too difficult which is why it presents itself as great music to just listen to. As music lovers we tend to want to dissect every little element of a song, and while some pop songs are more than what they present themselves to be, majority you get the picture right away.
I decided to put together both pop and R&B as the two go hand and hand for easy listening (though the latter has more depth occasionally). A lot of 2018 pop music saw the rise of being "woke". What exactly does that term mean? I'm not entirely sure, but it is somewhat along the lines of not believing everything you hear. We saw failed woke albums (Man of the Woods) and we saw great woke albums (Dirty Computer). Pop music has always been about latest trends as well, and we see that with the huge trap market within it.
As usual, this section is just a list of my favourites from a genre. I only post the album art with a little description. After I'm done these genre specific sections, my full list will come out with more in depth discussion. Hope you enjoy these selections!
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
Oh it's so hard not to gush about this one. Country pop but it isn't garbage? Kacey Musgraves uses more lyrical depth, as well as folk and indie rock influence throughout the album. Very impressive style mixed with incredibly catchy hooks. Someone once described it as if "Kero Kero Bonito did a country album".
Tirzah - Devotion
Lovely ambient tinged R&B with strong electronic influence throughout. There's a reason behind all the critical praise.
NIKI - Zephyr
The underdog of 88Rising. Utilizing early 2000's pop and R&B, NIKI compliments the sound with her gorgeous voice.
ROSALIA - El Mal Querer
We already discussed how much we love this album on the show. ROSALIA brings the sound of flamenco to modern pop, and the end product is nothing short of amazing.
Jorja Smith - Lost & Found
Laidback and sweet R&B, backed by dreamy vocals. This is the album to help you move on from the misery.
Taeyeon - Something New
Technically an EP, but it's from a musician I adore. Taeyeon makes her comeback in K-Pop with a more R&B influenced record, and of course some ballads.
serpentwithfeet - soil
Not as experimental as his debut EP, but none less beautiful. If you want some hauntingly exquisite vocals, this album gives more than that.
Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen
Disappointing this didn't get a lot of coverage. Fantastic jazzy, psychedelic R&B.
Nao - Saturn
The album is about astrology, but regardless the tracks are fun, bouncy, and catchy. Nao brings her unique vocals to the table with some stunning guests to appear along the way.
JSMN - Velvet
Another record we talked about on the show already. Definitely grew on me over time. If you're looking for that more funky, old school R&B, JSMN's your guy.
Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer
Tom Misch - Geography
Robyn - Honey
Wednesday Campanella - Galapagos
Ravyn Lenae - Crush
Poppy - Am I A Girl?
Chloe x Halle - The Kids Are Alright
Rae Morris - Someone Out There