20 Best R&B Albums of 2015

The Weeknd, Erykah Badu, Janet Jackson and more

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Kelela, 'Hallucinogen' EP

12. Kelela, 'Hallucinogen' EP

A future-imperfect griot wining around the margins of the R&B village, Kelela matches the halting keen of her emotional rhythms to the digital gasps of her producers (Arca, DJ Dahi, Kingdom), as if she's on a playfully heated search for a glimpse of humanity among the genre's horny, corny, passive-aggressive bully boys. On the freestyle-fleet single "Rewind," she's believably shy and bold; amid the spacious sparkle of "All the Way Down," she "don't give a fuck" about convention as a ghostly drum splash echoes. But it's on the otherworldly sub-rumble of "Gomenasai" ("I'm sorry" in Japanese), produced by Nguzunguzu's Ma, where she takes control, redefining "vulnerability" in a relationship as when both partners agree that she's on top. C.A.

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