Annal: 2003 Grammy Award for Best Rythm & Blues Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2003.

Album:Dance With My Father

Dance With My Father

Luther Vandross

Given Luther Vandross’s precarious state of health at the time of its release, Dance With My Father’s title track—a tale of yearning for a lost loved one—takes on added poignancy. It’s something of a centerpiece on an album that moves in several directions, reaching for varied constituencies, while ultimately staying focused on Vandross’s trademark buttery vocals. In addition to “Dance,” there’s more adult-contemporary balladry (“Buy Me a Rose”), lightly sassy soul (“If I Didn’t Know Better”), and a number of collaborations with hip-hoppers that often work…

Album:Bittersweet

Bittersweet

Blu Cantrell

Despite living in a generation of R&B females overshadowed by the indomitable Mary J. Blige, Blu Cantrell can hang. Blessed not only with a strong voice, but a jazzy style that comes across more subtly on this, her sophomore effort, than on 2001’s So Blu. Bittersweet finds her teamed at various points with a handful of hot producers, ubiquitous dancehall artist Sean Paul, and some predictable lyrics, but nonetheless showcases a supple vocalist with her own mind. At the same time, Cantrell recalls some of the best of her influences on the Stevie…

Album:Body Kiss

Body Kiss

The Isley Brothers

It’s a lot less jarring these days to hear R. Kelly’s romantic sentiments filtered through Ron Isley’s still sumptuous 60-something vocal cords. Kelly wrote and produced 11 of Body Kiss’s dozen tracks, hewing close to the sound and spirit of vintage quiet-storm Isley Brothers moments such as “For the Love of You” and “Between the Sheets.” Though the lack of writing contributions from Ron and remaining brother Ernie is somewhat dismaying, this is a solid album that’s both easy on and ever-so-slightly challenging to the ears. While there’s none of the…

Album:So Damn Happy

So Damn Happy

Aretha Franklin

Album:Worldwide Underground

Worldwide Underground

Erykah Badu

Worldwide Underground, the third studio album from nu-soul pioneer Erykah Badu, is both a marvel of jazz smooth sensuality and misguided genius. Without question, Badu was—and clearly still is—an original; her 1997 debut album Baduizm, a rich and unexpected fusion of soul, jazz and rootsy hip-hop, paved the way for Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, India Arie, Macy Gray and Alicia Keys.

However, as with her last album, Mama’s Gun, it’s her pioneering spirit that’s actually Worldwide Underground’s stumbling block. The gorgeous “I Want You”…

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