Annal: 2005 Grammy Award for Best Rythm & Blues Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2005.

Album:Get Lifted

Get Lifted

John Legend

Given the sped-up classic soul samples with which Kanye West has made his mark, it comes as no surprise that the producer/rapper would pick a tradition-minded R&B singer as his first big pet project. Legend first made his name on Philly’s incense-clouded, ‘70s-obsessed neo-soul scene, then found his way to New York and became West’s right-hand man in the studio. His patron’s pop smarts serve Legend well—while many contemporary R&B records rely too heavily on a singer’s cadence and skill to carry underdeveloped tunes, Legend and West have composed genuine songs…

Album:Free Yourself

Free Yourself

Fantasia Barrino

Few would accuse Fantasia of a reluctance to abide by the wisdom that what you’ve got, you should flaunt, and the vocal gusto she slathers over her full-length debut gets partial credit for earning—and keeping—your attention. To a greater extent, though, the high-wattage help heaped over the Idol 3 champ and Patti LaBelle-sound-alike makes the disc dazzle. In addition to pitch-ins from Missy Elliott, who produced and co-wrote three tracks and busts out a two-snaps-up rhyme on “Selfish (I Want U 2 Myself),” Jazze Pha duets on the ultra-mod “Don’t Act Right”…

Album:Illumination

Illumination

Earth, Wind & Fire

On Illumination, Earth, Wind & Fire take a hip-hop strategy and turn it on its head, working rhymes and beats into their still pudding-smooth harmonies and sun-warmed, ethereal soul. For other bands, it would have never worked, but Earth, Wind & Fire have always been masters at sophisticated genre-piling. If anyone has earned the right, it’s frontmen Philip Bailey and Maurice White and the rest of the gang. Few other 35-year-old, eight-time Grammy-winning bands can claim as many followers or liberally-borrowing samplers. Where other old-timers might have…

Album:A Time To Love

A Time To Love

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder took more than ten years to give a studio successor to Conversation Peace but A Time to Love feels fresher than we had any right to expect after such a long wait. For starters, the guests are well picked: They include Bonnie Raitt (playing slide guitar on “Tell Your Heart I Love You”), gospel singer Kim Burrell (on “If Your Heart Cannot Be Moved”), India Arie (on the title track), and Wonder’s own daughter, Aisha Morris (whom listeners may remember as the source of her dad’s delight in Songs in the Key of Life—”Isn’t She…

Album:Unplugged

Unplugged

Alicia Keys

With MTV’s decision to revive its much-missed “Unplugged” series came a certain obligation: Whoever was going to kick the shows off needed to have the means to deliver serious heat, Grammy-vote garnering heat. The “powers that be” couldn’t have chosen better than Alicia Keys. Throughout this consistent set, marked by warmth, sincerity and a powerful lack of inhibition, Keys convinces that if she’s not the new Aretha Franklin, she’s a force of equal might and measure. All the favorites are here, the danceable “Karma” carries into the funky “Heartburn” and the…

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