Mi-Soul’s Albums of the Year 2021
We’ve put together a list of the best albums of the year, handpicked by our specialist and daytime presenters! Read on to find out which albums have made it on to the list…
Silk Sonic: An Evening With Silk Sonic chosen by Lorraine Ashdown
‘I think (like probably the majority of people do) that “An Evening With Silk Sonic,” was the best album of the year. I always judge an album on the ability for it to be able to captivate you from start to finish and with it’s all star cast it hasn’t failed. With talents like Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak behind it and guest appearances by Bootsy Collins and Thundercat also appearing on it, how could it fail?’
You can listen to Lorraine on Mi-Soul every Friday on Mi-Afternoons from 1pm-4pm, alongside her co-host Janice Vee.
Leela James: See Me chosen by DJ Bigger
‘There were so many good albums in 2021: Carmichael Music Love; Cornell CC Carter; Silk Sonic; Em-Cee; I could go on and on. The one that edged it for me was the incredible Leela James album – Leela delivers so consistently and the album “See Me” once again showed the incredible talent of this female soulful R&B don. Cuts like “Complicated”, “Sippin” and “Rise & Shine” are modern day classics, and in the track “Break My Soul” she probably delivers the female anthem of 2021. With the lyrics “But it’s hard to keep a real woman down, we always bounce back never rebound still hold my head with a smile” and “get up and put your heels on baby, it hurts but no it ain’t gonna break me, oh no you can’t take my crown away,” she had women all over the world going ‘you tell em girl!’
Catch DJ Bigger on Mi-Soul every Tuesday from 1am-3am, and every Sunday from 5pm-7pm.
Busta Rhymes: Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God chosen by Mastermind
‘This IS the real Hip Hop right there. Being an old-skool hip hop head this was an album that re energised and re ignited my love for proper hip hop beats and rhymes.’
Listen to Mastermind every Saturday morning from 9am-11am.
Cleo Sol: Woman chosen by Mickey D
‘Cleo Sol’s ‘Mother’ was by far my favourite album from 2021. A very well produced record full of beautiful songs mainly about motherhood. I featured more tracks from this album more than any other on my PURE BEATS ‘N’ VIBES SHOW.’
You can catch Mickey D on Mi-Soul every Thursday night from 11pm-1am.
Upcycle Presents: The Garage House Mixed By DJ Fen & Bassboy chosen by DJ Fen.
H.E.R: Back of My Mind chosen by D'Nyce
‘At 24 years old with 4 Grammys already under her belt, H.E.R’s debut full length album ‘Back of My Mind’ is a monster. At 21 tracks it’s quite long and not my preferred but she still delivers. I love slow jams and this album spoils me in that department. The more up-tempo tracks have collaborations which I wouldn’t say showcase her talent. It’s within the guitar solos and writing where we find her strength. She’s dynamic and captivating, this is a strong album.’
Catch D’nyce every Sunday on Mi-Soul on the Soul’d Out Show from 11pm-1am.
Em-Cee: Honey Coated Hip-Hop chosen by Calvin Francis
‘Em-Cee’s ‘Honey Coated Hip-Hop’ was one of my albums of the year simply because the whole album uses classic hip hop beats with amazing vocals from
You can listen to Calvin Francis every Thursday night on ‘Decades of Soul’ from 7pm-9pm.
Joyce Wrice 'Overgrown' chosen by Ronnie Herel
‘It was an amazing year for R&B music and some absolutely humongous albums like Silk Sonic’s huge collabo with Anderson. Paak and Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke – On Earth and In Heaven, Zo! Alongside Tall Black Guy’s ‘Abstractions’ was another sensational highlight of the year. Honourable mentions to Sorry Drummer, Em-Cee, Snoop Dogg presents Algorythm. All delivering excellent sets for 2021 but I’ve had to choose not one but two of my absolute favourites for 2021 – I’ve gone for one from the USA and one from the UK so here goes.
The wonderful Joyce Wrice first came to my attention back in 2016 when she dropped her ‘Stay Around’ EP. At that point my ears and eyes were opened for anything she released then low and behold, she lets off the magical ‘Good Morning’ in 2017. Well at this point I’m already a fan but now she has demonstrated the ultimate consistency because her album ‘Overgrown’ is a soul masterpiece. It’s instantaneously lovable consisting of 14 bangers sprinkled with killer collaborations from the likes of Kaytranada, Lucky Daye (who is my One to watch in 2022), Freddie Gibbs + Masego who is also a G!
The L.A songstress’ gorgeous voice is soft yet powerfully flawless and compliments all 14 compositions to huge effect. ‘Overgrown’ is 43 minutes of total hip hop soul bliss and any true Soul / R&B fan needs this album in their life.
10 outta 10!’
Children of Zeus 'Balance' chosen by Ronnie Herel
‘Those Children of Zeus have been at it in the lab again and dropped their follow up to 2018’s wonderful ‘Travel Light’. The Hip Hop, Neo Soul, Gospel and R&B inspired ‘Balance’ dropped June 2021 to much anticipation.
Tyler who has this refreshing smooth and almost Raphael Saadiq-esque vocal skates through powerful bass heavy songs like ‘Love Again’, ‘No Love Song’, ‘I Need You’ ‘I Know’ and ‘The Most Humble of All Time Ever’ with consummate soulful ease. Intertwined in amongst the whole set is the grit and laid-back delivery of Konny lacing the purest of pure hip hop soul grooves with his lyrical flow, total passion and heart felt word play talking about some tough subject matters from Love Vibes to Gospel inspired grooves. This is Hip Hop for Soul heads. 50 minutes of incredible UK BIGness so go get it!’
Catch Ronnie Herel on Mi-Drive Monday – Friday 4-7pm, and on The Big RnB Show Monday nights from 9-11pm.
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