DAR Music: 8 Important R&B Albums From 2005

By @TrueGodImmortal

2005 was an interesting year in music. It represents the last year of mostly huge sellers in music, as we watched the top artists in every genre put up amazing numbers and earn consecutive plaques. Whether it was 50 in hip hop, Mariah in R&B, Black Eyed Peas in Pop music, and many others, the music industry saw some solid numbers coming their way. However, aside from the numbers, there were notable debuts, legends making their returns, and some R&B veterans staking their claim as well. Today, we go back to 2005 and take a look at 8 albums from the year in R&B that were important.

*Trey Songz- I Gotta Make It

-I still believe the best work from Trey came on his debut, and while his first album didn't light up the charts, it was quite possibly his smoothest release album wise. I love the production here, and the songs are a good mix, from the anthem title track to the interesting "Cheat On You" to the bedroom ballad "Kinda Lovin" to the smooth "Gotta Go" to the comedic "Ur Behind" and "Just Wanna Cut", as Trey shows different elements of his artistry and makes an album that stands as one of my two favorites on the list.

*Mary J. Blige- The Breakthrough

-Years removed from her epic 90's run, Mary J. was admittedly struggling on her albums in the 2000s. Her two projects in the 2000s had sold well enough, but critically they hadn't made much noise and sales wise, she did see a small drop. Regardless, when her 2005 album arrived, things changed seemingly. Backed by the high powered hit "Be Without You" which was a smash all over radio and the charts, this album would reach triple platinum heights and be seen as an album that returned her back to the multiplatinum heights of her first run. With assistance from Raphael Saadiq, Rodney Jerkins, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and more, Mary creates an album that has her sounding almost as comfortable as she did when she first arrived in the music game. Aside from the mega hit, the album also boasts solid tracks like "Enough Cryin", "About You", "Good Woman Down", "Take Me As I Am", and more. While it isn't a classic to me, The Breakthrough is easily the best MJB album of the 2000s and her most successful.

*Bobby Valentino- Bobby Valentino

-When I look back at some of the slept on albums from the year, I think Bobby Valentino had the most slept on mainstream album in the genre. Sure, it would be successful and have hits, but this album tends to get ignored on the bigger scale, and it is a shame. Bobby was very comfortable on this album, with some of his greatest work coming here, with the two hit singles like "Slow Down" and my favorite "Tell Me", along with other tracks like "Give Me A Chance" featuring Ludacris and "Never Lonely". Bobby would earn a plaque, notoriety, and would help DTP bring their R&B division full circle in so many ways. His album was really good from start to finish. 

*Pretty Ricky- Bluestars

-You are probably reading this and wondering about the inclusion of this group and album on the list. I know, I know. Pretty Ricky was a mix of rap and R&B that was more teenage centered than anything, but if I can be honest, the debut album from the group was solid. With breezy and upbeat production throughout led by the vocals of the lead singer Pleasure P, the group brings hit songs like "Your Body" and the classic "Grind On Me", along with other tracks like "Juicy", "Nothing But A Number", and "I Want You (Girlfriend)". The album would be a success and bring Pretty Ricky some notoriety.

*Mariah Carey- The Emancipation Of Mimi

-This was the biggest album of the year with Mariah being the top seller for the genre and pushing her music to relevance after a tumultuous few years prior to it. I am not a fan of Mariah by any stretch, but it would be criminal to not at least recognize the power she possessed at the time of this album release. She was in a class of her own it seemed, as she would have the biggest release of the year, reaching 6 million copies sold in the US, alongside 10 million plus sold worldwide off the strength of tracks like the classic "We Belong Together", the hit single "It's Like That", "Shake It Off", "Stay The Night", and more. Overall, this album was a big moment for Mariah and for the genre and despite the fact I'm not a fan, I can recognize how legendary it really was when she pulled this off.

*R. Kelly- TP.3 Reloaded

-The legend himself would come back with another 12 Play edition, but this one was different. There was more of an upbeat vibe on the album sometimes compared to the other editions of 12 Play, but the music we loved R. Kelly for is mostly intact even if the album pales in comparison to the previous two. Still, there are enough anthems to go around and enough classics here, whether it is the epic "Trapped In The Closet" series, the popular "Playas Only", the smooth "Slow Wind", the slow jam "In The Kitchen", or the interestingly titled "Sex Weed". All in all, TP.3 was a big release on the year and another platinum plaque for R. Kelly once again.

*Chris Brown- Chris Brown

-The debut from the most controversial artist of this last era might be headed to classic status as the years go by. Chris Brown isn't the type of artist that jumps out at you as classic, but there are some albums that capture a moment in time. Almost 14 years later, and Chris Brown has maintained his popularity and success despite a ton of hardships and problems, while still cranking out hits and catchy songs. This debut album however was special. It would feature some of his best work and some of his biggest hits, like the introduction single "Run It", the ballad "Say Goodbye", the booming "Poppin", the classic "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)", and "Gimme That", among others. The double platinum album would catapult Chris to stardom and change his life and career forever. 2005 was the arrival of Chris Brown. 

*Jamie Foxx- Unpredictable

-Well, we all know that Jamie Foxx is a legendary singer, actor, and comedian. However, being a singer is one thing, becoming an artist is another one. After an 11 year layoff following his much ignored debut Peep This in 1994, Jamie used his popularity following the Oscar win to help push him back into the music world. The result? This magical album Unpredictable, which is probably my favorite album on this entire list honestly. The album features assistance from Tank, Babyface, Kanye West, Ludacris, and many more as Jamie delivers a number of classics from "DJ Play A Love Song", the title track, an updated version of "Love Changes", my personal favorite "V.I.P.", along with "Storm (Forecast)" and "Can I Take You Home" for the bedroom ballads. 2005 wasn't the greatest year of R&B but it had more than enough to entice the listener and all of these albums are essential in their own right.



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