Annal: 2000 Grammy Award for Best Rythm & Blues Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2000.

Album:Voodoo

Voodoo

D'Angelo

Halfway through the languid midtempo ballad “Send It On” from D’Angelo’s new sophomore effort, Voodoo, the young retro-soul maestro and band shift tempo and melody. It’s a move so understatedly dramatic that it elicits comparisons not just to obvious touchstones Marvin Gaye and Al Green, but to the Jimi Hendrix of Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland. While Voodoo is hardly in a league with such major statements, it’s a record inviting enough to attract repeated plays of its 78-minute length. As on his 1995 debut, Brown Sugar, D’Angelo covers a wide range of concerns—sex…

Album:The Heat

The Heat

Toni Braxton

After a nearly four-year absence from recording, Toni Braxton returns with The Heat, her third album. Full of drama—sometimes melodrama—it unsurprisingly puts Braxton’s rich voice and command of nuance front and center of one state-of-the-art track after another. Unfortunately, The Heat plays up her taste for ballads to such a point that the disc bores itself into a quiet-storm rut. The big exception is the Rodney Jerkins-produced first single, “He Wasn’t Man Enough.” The song’s smoldering rebuff and Jerkins’s measured funk make a perfect match for…

Album:My Name Is Joe

My Name Is Joe

Joe

R&B jack of all trades Joe Thomas has garnered his share of success (three gold singles, the platinum All That I Am, a prominent role on Mariah Carey’s “Thank God I Found You”) without rising to superstardom. My Name is Joe, his third album, is his bid to change that. Fully loaded mainstream soul, Joe splits most of its time between “sensitive” ballads (“Treat Her Like a Lady” suggests sending a greeting card) and randy I’ll-freak-you declarations; at its conceptual limit, it combines both in the same song. With a fine voice and…

Album:Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya

Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya

Boyz II Men

In the early ‘90s there was no hotter group in R&B than Boyz II Men. The Philadelphia foursome were smoother than their hometown brand of cream cheese, and they shattered chart records with lush, smartly crafted ballads. They also almost single-handedly brought the art of harmony singing back to pop music and paved the way (don’t hate them) for the succeeding onslaught of (lesser) boy bands and teen idols. The big news isn’t just that the group is back on the scene, ready to reclaim their crown. It’s that this CD is self penned and self produced; and the…

Album:Unleash the Dragon

Unleash the Dragon

Sisqó

It seems that all one has to do in R&B is maintain the status quo and the fans will open their hearts and wallets. Critics might yearn for innovation, but as song after song parades by in a blurring montage of predictability, it would appear that simply coloring within the lines is what the public wants. Into this realm walks Dru Hill as singer Sisqó with his maiden solo effort. Arguments will now be heard about how a solo record from the lead singer of an otherwise anonymous group differs from a record from said anonymous group. Who cares? Sisqó can sing and…

Album:Who Is Jill Scott?

Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds, Vol. 1

Jill Scott

Jill Scott is the singer-songwriter who wrote the unforgettable hook on the Roots’ “You Got Me.” Jill Scott is a better singer than the garble-mouthed Erykah Badu, who mangled those lines (albeit prettily) on the Roots’ single. If Scott had sung them (which she does, and marvelously so, on the group’s live album, The Roots Come Alive), we would have known what the hell the words were. Thankfully, Jill Scott has put out her own album, which exceeds all hook-derived expectations. She is, in fact, a wonder—a magically soulful tunesmith who writes tunes like…

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