50 Best Albums of 2018 So Far

Including Janelle Monáe, Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, the 'Black Panther' soundtrack and more

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Sir, 'November'

Sir, 'November'

Sir's R&B credentials are impeccable: He's written for Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Tyrese and Letoya Luckett, among others. So it's no surprise that November, his debut album for the lauded Top Dawg Entertainment, comes filled with accomplished, serene funk. Sir is at his best when his songs stay quiet, unhurried and almost sleepy, allowing pleasing details to come into focus: his lackadaisical vocal delivery in "Never Home," the pretty pleading on "I Need Your Love" or the gauzy sample of Soul Mann & the Brothers' "Bumpy's Lament" (best known for its use in Dr. Dre's "Xxplosive") on "Dreaming of Me." E.L.

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