7 Soul Music and R&B albums from 2019 you need to spin right now

Can you believe, it’s June already? Hard to believe we are already halfway through the year! But then again, we’ve got truck loads of great Soul and R&B music to show for it. No worries if you’re not quite on top of it all. As usual, we’ve happily curated a list of the best 2019 R&B / Soul music albums you shouldn’t miss! Perfect summer vacation listening down below.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it…


Sault 5 - Best 2019 R&B Soul Albums

Sault are a new, uber-mysterious group that seemingly came out of nowhere! Their first appearance was 5, their pretty spectacular 14-track debut album. They are signed to Independent label, Forever Living Originals and are, unquestionably, a talent to watch (and maybe even stalk cause we need more of this good stuff).

Sounds like

An experimental body of work with infusions of Soul, traditional African music, as well as alternative rock components. Clapping cadences, afro-drums and foreign language excerpts are incorporated with infectious melodies and harmonies. Soulful sounds seep through songs like Masterpiece.

Speaks to

Authentic individuality and the power of unity through love in different forms.

Start with

Up all night

The Jungle Is The Only Way Out – Mereba

Based in Atlanta and signed to Interscope Records, The Jungle is The Only Way Out is Ethiopian-American, Mereba’s, debut major-label album.

Sounds like

Leading with Soul, the album has hints of Hip-Hop in tracks like Stay Tru and Sandstorm, reminiscent of a Jhene Aiko vibe. Folk is also fiercely featured in songs like Black Truck and Get Free. Authenticity is consistently displayed throughout, whether Mereba is singing, rapping or spitting spoken word.

Speaks to

Intentional lyrics motivated by and striving for love, based on Mereba’s own experiences. Confidently, she proclaims that the core message of this album is “The only way out is through”.

Critics are saying

The album tells the story of an all too familiar plight: a long, drawn-out breakup. Don’t get it twisted though, this isn’t your standard breakup album featuring Alanis Morissette… The effortless way she masters her sound(s) on this album is a testament to Mereba’s growth as an artist.

– Craig Jones @ Earmilk 

One of Mereba’s most exceptional gifts is being able to make a song that relates to so many people deeper than a superficial level.

– Dom Alexander @ The Rap Hippies

Starts with

Heatwave (Ft. 6LACK)

LEGACY! LEGACY! – Jamila Woods

Jamila Woods Legacy Legacy - Best 2019 R&B Soul Albums

A true Chicago girl, 29-year-old multi-talented Jamila Woods is a singer, poet and activist, who defiantly flaunts her black girl magic. She backs it up with rousing fusion Soul music. On her second studio album, LEGACY! LEGACY! she doesn’t disappoint, powerfully upping the game from her 2017 debut.

Sounds like… 

A gentle and distinct tone that carries Erykah Badu vibes. The album features smooth soul vibes in tracks like Giovanni. It also bears a rock-inspired edge through songs like Muddy and Sonia. Tracks like Eartha, add further diversity through elements of pop.

Speaks to

Jamila certainly proudly embraces black womanhood and her deep connection with her roots. She references her ancestors and many pioneering black historical figures throughout the album. Political and socially conscious motifs are laced across this collection, serving for both an educating and engaging listen.

The critics are saying

The Chicago artist marries political commentary with deep introspection, resulting in a richly composed R&B album about the echoes of the past and the promise of the future.

– Shannon J. Effinger @ Pitchfork

One of the albums of the year, this is a confident and self-assured project that affirms the Chicago musician’s own place alongside the historical greats she praises

Dhruva Balram @ NME

Start with


Shea Butter Baby – Ari Lennox

Ari Lennox Shea Butter Baby - Best 2019 R&B Soul Albums

Born in Washington D.C, 28-year-old, Ari Lennox is singed to J-Cole’s record label, Dreamville Records. On the Cole-featured single, Shea Butter Baby, Ari effortlessly oozes sultry passion and the album with the same monicker delivers.

Shea Butter Baby- Ari Lennox

Sounds like

Perfect neo-soul, with luminous R&B renditions. Without a doubt, Lennox serves ear milk to listeners through her high vocal range and faultless runs. Surely, the album’s title is enough warning that you’ll melt like butter at the sound of her voice.

Speaks to

Lenox’s personal experience of relationships and how she sails through both the good and bad parts of this. Sensual themes are openly threaded throughout this body of work.

The critics are saying

Shea Butter Baby essentially satisfies a thirst for the kind of rhythm and blues that feels good to spirit, much like a home-cooked meal after returning home from college for the first time.

 – Cherise Johnson @ HipHopDX

The issue of navigating relationships is a foundational crux of R&B, and Ari Lennox channels and tackles both the good and the bad of this

– Nicolas Tyrell @ Clash Music

Start With

Shea Butter Baby

Unholy – Collard

collard unholy - Best 2019 R&B Soul Albums

24-years old and London based, Collard, takes a cleverly crafted approach to soul music, with his debut album.

Warrior Cry – Collard

Sounds like

A falsetto, Prince-like tone, and an effortless mix of funk with soul. Collard’s vocal range is incredibly vast, as he also harbours a light heavenly tone- far from Unholy (pun absolutely intended). He also switches it up to a deep rapper voice in Warrior Cry. Undeniably, there is an ethereal atmospheric feel laced throughout the album.

Speaks to

Throwback feels of romance and the inner battle of conflict within these situations. It highlights the complexity of relationships.

The Critics are saying

Far from unholy, this righteous record reveals a unique and special talent’’

– Yasmin Cowan @ Clash Magazine

The 24-year-old mixes sultry jams that recall the electronic funk of MGMT with nods to the greats: Prince, James Brown, Led Zeppelin and Marvin Gaye.

Roisin O’Conor @ The Independent

Start with

Ground Control (Ft. Kojey Radical)

Press L to Continue – ROMderful

ROMderful Press L to Continue - Best 2019 R&B Soul Albums

Originally from Birmingham, Press L to Continue is artist-producer, ROMderful’s, debut album. It features artists such as Mali Music and Jay Prince. 

Sounds like

A fun summer piece, with auto-tune adding a dynamic and lively feel. Bopping beats bring in hints of Hip-Hop on some tracks, such as Let’s Get High. But this doesn’t deter from the unified R&B inspired sound of the album.

Speaks to

The highs and lows of romantic relationships. The first few tracks tell of the thrilling chase of flirting, typically at the start of relationships. But as the album progresses, ROMderful takes us on a journey of experiences of challenges and questions that can arise.

Critics are saying

Press L To Continue is a magnificent album that perfectly captures ROMderful’s musical aura and vibe, with a rich tapestry of sounds that just work beautifully.

– Martin Boev @ In Search of Media

ROMderful’s smooth and soulful productions lay a perfect foundation for all these great vocalists and the result is this amazing R&B/HipHop album.

– @ Ininitiblog

Start with

Run Tings

Painted – Lucky Daye

lucky daye painted - Best 2019 R&B Soul Albums

Hailing from New Orleans, 33-year-old Lucky Daye will indeed make you feel lucky (hehe, corny but whatever) when playing his songs, as they bless your ears with melodies. He is signed to the RCA joint label, Keep Cool.

Sounds like

Early Chris Brown and Bruno Mars vibes. Songs such as Roll Some Mo are truly R&B inspired, but the album also has a funky feel with tracks like Late Night. Daye’s high pitch vocals create to a chilled summer feel.

Speaks to

Relationships, affection and summer love. This music will have you all up in your feelings.

Critics are saying

There’s a unique tonal thing happening with Daye’s voice, and his reverence to pretty much everything that’s happened artistically for R&B in the last 25 or so years is clear.

– Ryan B. Patrick @ Exclaim

The album successfully caters to any and every mood you can ever find yourself in’’

– Aida C. @ Hot New HipHop

Start with

Roll Some Mo

We hope you are as excited as we are to play these projects this summer! Feel free to share any more albums you would add to this list in the comment section below.

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