15 Great Albums You Didn't Hear in 2014

A power-pop supergroup, a Nigerian rap star, a prog Hall of Famer, gamelan rock, noise-dance and more you may have missed

Load Previous
Kindred the Family Soul, 'A Couple Friends'

Kindred the Family Soul, 'A Couple Friends'

Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon, West Philadelphia protégés of the Roots and Jill Scott, friends and a couple married 16 years with six children, spend their fifth album struggling through hard times but celebrating being in it for the long haul. They do it with R&B grooves as warm and alive as any this year, unfashionably tapping Philly International disco, Barry White, Run-D.M.C., quiet storm, pop gospel and their spiritual antecedents Ashford and Simpson (whose Valerie Simpson contributes harmonies to the title cut) without ever suggesting retro is the point. There's even a minute-long chant from their kids about keeping up with household chores. And over a Marvin Gaye rhythm bed in lush centerpiece "Everybody's Hustling," Fatin and Aja weather the war on the poor — low credit scores, no health insurance, two jobs not paying enough. But they stay grounded and refuse despair, knowing sex and God will help them through. By Chuck Eddy

Back to Top