20 Best R&B Albums of 2014

The year in tough lovers, elusive chanteuses, purple royalty and more

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Banks, 'Goddess'
20
17/20

17. Banks, 'Goddess'

More than just an Internet sensation with on-the-nose Nineties R&B throwback hooks, L.A. native Jillian Banks can go from gloomy trance cuts one minute to lyrically explicit soul jams the next — all with an impressively modern gothic touch. In fact, on her debut, Banks forms a kind of composite of all the exciting things breakout female vocalists have pulled off in the last few years: Lorde without the precociousness, Lana Del Rey if the melodrama was replaced with a winking swagger. C.D.

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