Annal: 2002 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2002.

Album:Ashanti

Ashanti

Ashanti

These days, R&B girls are a dime a dozen, but Ashanti Douglas is a step ahead of the pack. Youthful appeal and a pleasantly dreamy voice complement the 21-year-old singer/songwriter’s ability to pen her own radio-friendly verses. However, Ashanti’s young’un status shows itself through her treatment of the usual R&B-girl subject matter: love standing strong, love gone bad, and the search for love of self. Songs like “Foolish,” “Happy,” and “Baby” are as simple and agreeable as their one-word titles suggest, while “Call,” “Movies,” and “Over” take a slightly more…

Album:Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape

Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape

Meshell NdegéOcello

After the spartan folk-soul detour that was 1999’s Bitter, Meshell N’Degeocello’s fourth album, Cookie: The Athropological Mixtape marks the welcome return of the ethereal grooves and softly spoken wisdom that made the socially concerned bass player possibly the most underrated artist of modern R&B.

A revolutionary soul singer in the true, society challenging sense, Cookie once again has N’degeocello eloquently pondering her favourite subjects: Black stereo types, sexual fulfilment, religion, social oppression and the evil of…

Album:Faithfully

Faithfully

Faith Evans

Sadness is etched in Faith Evans’s smoky vocals, an underpinning of regret and the blues that gives her a vulnerability and realness that’s compelling. That hint of heartache is perfectly suited for love-lost midtempo ballads, like her 1995 hit “You Used to Love Me,” and in many ways Evans (once married to the late Notorious B.I.G.) is a modern-day torch singer. Yet like Mary J. Blige, her sister in sorrow, Evans has added more uptempo rhythm to her moody mix, as evidenced by the thumping first single off her third CD. Set to a banging, West Coast-style beat,…

Album:Floetic

Floetic

Floetry

It’s hard to imagine two more talented hipsters than Floetry singer Marsha Ambrosius and emcee Natalie Stewart, a.k.a. the Songstress and Floacist. The U.K. duo’s Floetic debut has it all—smooth R&B, soulful jazz, hip-hop, spoken word, supple ballads and a warmth that cradles the listener from beginning to end. In short, it’s exquisitely, decidedly feminine. The pair occasional raise the roof with sizzling rhymes and beats, but they clearly place a premium on vibe, evident in Floetic’s mostly chilled, after-dark feel. Jill Scott and Michael Jackson…

Album:Full Moon

Full Moon

Brandy

On her first CD in three years, the newly married and pregnant Brandy sounds confident and assured and lets us know that she has found her man (even if it takes a numbing 17 tracks). The stately ballad “He Is” shimmers with unabashed, but never treacly, adoration, as Brandy huskily sighs, “Prince Charming, my angel, my king, my friend.” It’s the sound of a woman in love, and that sentiment guides this satisfying CD’s strongest cuts, from Mike City’s tangy title track to the snaky seduction of “Apart,” which burnishes Brandy’s vocals with a metallic glow. Most of…

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