20 Best R&B Albums of 2017

Sharon Jones, Khalid, SZA, Miguel and more

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 Miguel, 'War & Leisure'
4. Miguel, 'War + Leisure'4/20

4. Miguel, 'War & Leisure'

On his fourth studio album, Miguel unites his funk-explorer side and his pop-craftsman side (not to mention a handful of other sides too), balancing stretched-out grooves with sparkling hooks, and dystopian unease with unbridled carnality – a fitting soundtrack for 2017's constantly whiplashing news cycle. But what makes War & Leisure even more of a pleasure lies in the utter joy that Miguel derives from singing – his vocals leap out of the mix when he's really feeling a track, like on the opening of soaring, pop-soul tour de force "Pineapple Skies" (which basically serves as an ode to Prince); or on the chorus of rumbling Latin banger "Caramelo Duro"; or with his scats, raps, ad libs and upper-register whoops on the masterfully paced groove of "Banana Clip." M.J.

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