Best R&B/Pop Album of 2013
When you're literally one of the most famous people on the planet and you haven't released an album in seven years, expectations can be high. But incredibly, JT managed to not only meet, but exceed, many of those expectations with his 20/20 Experience. An album that also doubled in many ways as a true return to production form for Timbaland, 20/20 purposefully set itself apart from current trends - who else is routinely doing eight minute songs? - and succeeded wildly in the process. After 2013 there's no doubt that JT is now a man amongst boys, and a man that's making the best music of his career. Hopefully we won't have to wait another seven years for another album, but if we do, 20/20 (and yes, its sequel) should tide us over nicely.
John Legend - Love in the Future
Around these parts we have a real soft spot for edge, creativity and music that denies easy categorization. In other words, we love Janelle Monáe and we absolutely loved her album, The Electric Lady. With hit single Dance Apocalyptic leading the charge and guest features that range from Miguel to jazz protege Esperanza Spalding, true to its name Electric Lady managed to combine vintage rock appeal with some truly futuristic musical adventuring. When you drop an album that earns you a spot on tour with Prince, you're doing something right; and that something is making incredible music. All hail Ms. Monáe, one of music's greatest innovators.