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soulBlog: The Soul Show’s Top Ten Albums of 2019

Every year this work is both coveted and dreaded, the former because it demands a review of the year’s really great music, the latter because of the required demotion of candidates. One thing that changed for The Soul Show in 2019 is that WYEP’s rule of listing the albums sequentially was not imposed. In truth, slicing and dicing with such granularity sometimes bordered on whimsy.

If you compare my playlists with the Top Ten selections, you might not see the correlations you expect. Sequencing of shows requires managing of ebb and flow, equity of representation, and other factors. Some albums were discovered late, but deeper review revealed true gems that simply had not been given adequate airtime.

And so on…..

Final thoughts:

  • Female rappers (Little Simz et al) truly came into their own in 2019.
  • Charles, Olatuja and Sessoms are all songbirds.
  • BFE is a perennial contender. Muldrow is gonna make me fly somewhere to see her.
  • Brittany Howard was a very late album discovery, but the early single had me expecting a lot. I wasn’t disappointed
  • Pittsburgh’s Starship Mantis hit the big league, and it’s so sad that they are dissolving.
  • How can one not include the Daughters? They are a synergistic powerhouse of craft, and that’s before the songs hit you.
  • Saadiq brings pain to beautiful West Coast styling, or the other way around.
  • Muldrow is gonna make me fly somewhere to see her, since she never gets close.
  • BFE is always in the mix.

The List, alphabetically:

  • Brooklyn Funk Essentials – Stay Good
  • Tanika Charles – The Gumption
  • G&D – Black Love & War (Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime)
  • Brittany Howard – Jaime
  • Little Simz – Grey Area
  • Alicia Olatuja – Intuition: Songs From The Minds Of Women
  • Our Native Daughters – Songs of Our Native Daughters (Amythyst Kiah

    , Rhiannon Giddens, Allison Russell, Leyla McCalla)
  • Raphael Saadiq – Jimmy Lee
  • Vivian Sessoms – Life II
  • Starship Mantis – Black Hole Radio AM/FM

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