It's been a few months since we've done a roundup of new R&B albums. The summer was quiet, save for urban pop efforts from Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Lloyd and others. But the end of the year is usually prime time for soul artists, so the genre's output has increased. Perhaps the approaching winter months are to thank, inviting us to cuddle with our loved ones; more cynically, the perception that soul listeners skew older and stick to the classics may result in fewer new releases than most other genres enjoy. No matter the reason for the delay, I'm glad to finally hear some new soul music.
This time around, we've got a new Etta James collection, Goapele's long-awaited comeback, Mayer Hawthorne's major-label debut and Van Hunt's first release since his 2008 Blue Note album Popular was unfairly shelved.