20 Best R&B Albums of 2017

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Moses Sumney, 'Aromanticism'
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11. Moses Sumney, 'Aromanticism'11/20

11. Moses Sumney, 'Aromanticism'

"Am I vital, if my heart is idle? Am I doomed?" asks the California multi-instrumentalist and arranger of deep blue emotions Moses Sumney on his debut album, the fluttering, existential expanse known as Aromanticism. Here, Sumney's warm delivery and open-ended, time-lapse songs develop under looming soundscapes of soulful strings, synths and Thundercat's searching, impulsive bass. Deftly easing from minimalist electro-soul to aching indie folk cushions his passionate refusal of romantic permanence. With tracks like "Make Out in My Car," and "Plastic," Sumney seeks momentary sensual pleasure and emotional comfort but doesn't believe that it can, or needs to, continue. For a genre dependent on its audience's devotion to the concept of romantic love, Sumney posits that one could learn to live well with loneliness. M.O.

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