Sick! by Earl Sweatshirt
Earl Sweatshirt released his album Sick! on Jan. 14, 2022. Earl touches on topics such as the Black community, the power of music, self care and old memories. For the early Sweatshirt listeners this album really does bring back the feeling you get from his 2015 work. You can stream Sick! from Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube.
Keys by Alicia Keys
The beautiful, talented and legendary Alicia Keys gave a gift to the world and called it Keys. This album was released Dec. 10, 2021, yet is such an important album to talk about In 2022. Alicia Keys has always been known for her vocals and talent in piano playing. Keys is a collective two part album of 24 songs. The separation between this album is between original and unlocked songs. The original songs of the albums are personal, intimate and timelessly produced. While the unlocked songs samples the originals to add a hip-hop element and it works so well. I’d say it’s the best of both worlds.
DS4EVER by Gunna
There are many mixed opinions about DS4EVER by Gunna. But let’s be honest—aren’t there always mixed opinions about Gunna? DS4EVER is a 19 song collective with features from Young Thug, Future, Chloè, Techie, Young Bleu and more. Fan favorites on the album to check out would be “Pushin P (Feat. Young Thug),” “You & Me” (a sample of “They Don’t Know By: Jon B”) and “Die Alone (Feat. Yung Bleu).” Young Thug’s recent R&B album released made everyone question, “What does R&B even sound like anymore?” Hearing “you & me” from DS4EVER made it evident that R&B is steering off to a whole new direction. Who’s gonna drive this car back on the road?
Public Displays of Affection by Muni Long
Public Displays of Affection offers a fresh sound and approach to R&B music (as Long iterates in the song “No R&B”). Songs from this EP have been circulating on TikTok, mainly because of their relatable romantic lyrics. “No Signal” and “Hrs and Hrs” highlight Long’s melodic voice as well as her songwriting capabilities.
Water Your Garden by Magic City Hippies
Most of this group’s discography evokes feel-good vibes—their sophomore album is no different. The album was written during COVID-19, and the band wanted to emphasize prioritizing mental health (hence the title of the album). Each song offers a distinct sound while also blending seamlessly with the others. The band stays consistent with the concepts of their previous work, but have made significant growth in the songs like “High Beams” through complex vocals and strong bass lines.
By Aminah Jenkins, Associate Editor, and Melissa Taylor, Contributing Writer