Sometimes the best new R&B can be hard to find, but there are plenty of great rhythm-and-blues tunes to get into if you have the time to sift through the hundreds of newly released songs every week. So that R&B heads can focus on listening to what they really love in its true form, we’ll be offering a digest of the best new R&B songs that fans of the genre should hear every Friday.
This week is highlighted by Silk Sonic’s long-awaited album, An Evening With Silk Sonic. It delivers nine songs with help from Thundercat, Bootsy Collins, James Fauntleroy, and more. Elsewhere, Beyonce returns with “Be Alive,” her first single in over a year, and India Shawn lays off a beautiful project with Before We Go.
Silk Sonic — An Evening With Silk Sonic
Months after Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak announced their duo Silk Sonic and left the door open with their chart-topping single, their long-awaited album finally arrived. An Evening With SIlk Sonic packs nine songs and a beautiful display of showmanship into an album that also presents contributions from Bootsy Collins, Thundercat, James Fauntleroy, and D’Mile. “After Last Night” and “Fly As Me” are personal highlights from the project.
Beyonce — “Be Alive”
More than a year after she released her last single, “Black Parade,” Beyonce is back with another motivational track for the world. She arrives with “Be Alive,” a spirited and riotous track that finds itself on the soundtrack of the upcoming film, King Richard. Beyonce deeply desires to overcome life’s battles, just like the young characters in the movie who play a young Venus and Serena Williams.
India Shawn — Before We Go
Last year, India Shawn delivered impressive records like “Movin’ On” and “Not Too Deep” to the world, both of which increased excitement for a future project. That body of work has finally arrived with Before We Go. It’s a brief effort carried by seven songs and features from Unknown Mortal Orchestra, 6lack, and Anderson .Paak. “Don’t Play With My Heart” and “Superfine” are my favorites on this one.
Zyah Belle — Who’s Listening Anyway
The last time we heard from Zyah Belle was not too long ago as she connected with Tempest for “Say My Name.” Now, Belle is back with a new project in hand. Who’s Listening Anyway is out now and it’s a project she admits came after a rough time in her career. “I felt defeated,” she wrote on Instagram. “Too old. Let down by people who said they’d help but didn’t. I doubted my artistry. And ultimately I redefined my definition of success. I pushed through because I honestly can’t see my life without music.” Well, it ultimately paid off with Who’s Listening Anyway. “Sugawater” is my personal favorite here.
Nija — “On Call”
Grammy-winning songwriter Nija is on a roll right now. She returned with her latest single, “On Call,” and it’s a track that finds her admitting to her slightly-toxic ways. Nija tells a lover that she won’t commit to love with them, she’ll leave them “on-call” for quick moments of intimacy, something they’ll have to deal with for the foreseeable future. The track also follows her pair of 2021 singles, “Ease My Mind (Come Over)” and “Finesse.”
Ye Ali — Dangerous
Last year, Ye Ali brought us to the Private Suit for the third time. This year, he’s heading down a more Dangerous route. The singer-songwriter is back with a batch of ten songs that’s sure to spark some bedroom magic between you and that special someone. Seriously, it’s quite the steamy body of work with “Smoke & Small Talk” and “P & P” being two of the project’s strongest songs.
Johan Lenox — “You Up?” Feat. Ant Clemons
The name Johan Lenox is one you should know. He’s responsible for helping produce a number of records by Travis Scott, Big Sean, Ty Dolla Sign, Snoh Aalegra, and more. He’s also got a strong catalog of solo records that he looks to add to and improve with his latest drop “You Up?” with Ant Clemons. “The song has me trying to woo a potential lover with reminders that the planet is dying and this may be our last shot,” Lenox said about the song in a press release.
Parisalexa — Finishline
A little over a year after sharing 2 Real, Parisalexa returns with another project, that being Finishline. It’s a bit briefer as it arrives with just six songs, but the singer’s strong vocals and impactful pen are both intact on the EP. “Lucky” and “Overdrive” provide impressive moments on the project that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
Amber Mark — “Softly”
Amber Mark will be one of the first notable artists to release a project in 2022 as her official debut, Three Dimensions Deep is locked in for a January 28 release. With more than 2 months to go before it arrives, Mark returns with “Softly,” an island-driven track that finds her requesting a tender and gentle love from her companion.
Mack Keane & ESTA — “Open Up”
The Soulection crew delivers another sharp single to the world, this time by the way of Mack Keane & ESTA. The duo joins forces for the ethereal and levitating track, “Open Up.” It’s the inaugural single from Keane, whose effortless falsetto shines on the track, and it’s ESTA’s second track of the year as he recently joined Jayla Darden on “Exhausted My Options” with Sango.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.