DAR Music: 8 Female R&B Albums From 1995

By @TrueGodImmortal

Last week, we discussed the year 1994 and female artists in the R&B genre that made an impact with their albums. Today, I wanted to take a look back at the following year and see if 1995 was just as great for female artists in the genre. Would Mariah Carey dominate? Could a Whitney Houston led soundtrack make an impact? Would we see important debut albums from ladies who would end up carving their own legacy? Absolutely. Let's take a look back at 1995 and 8 albums from women who made an impact musically that year.

*Kut Klose- Surrender

-So, when Keith Sweat decided he wanted a group of women to sing, no one expected it to go as well as it did musically. Sure, Keith Sweat helped discover Silk, but who could have imagined fhat he would strike gold in the finding talent department once again? After finding this beautiful trio of talented vocalists, Elektra Records would give them a debut album that is remembered fondly amongst some R&B fans. The music features some solid production and of course, the ladies bless the tracks with high powered vocals, giving us gems like the hit single "I Like", "Lovely Thang", the title track, and "Get Up On It". The album wasn't a huge commercial success, but it was noteworthy enough and had enough quality music to get a mention here.

*Brownstone- From The Bottom Up

-So, the group Brownstone is actually rather slept on, especially when discussing 90's R&B. They are a group of women that caught the ear of Epic Records and Michael Jackson, which is amazing in its own right. They would be a part of MJ's label MJJ Music and they would have a debut album full of great R&B rhythms and solid production. They would work with Soulshock & Karlin, Troy Taylor, and Dave "Jam" Hall, among others to make a platinum album that includes classic hits like the iconic "If You Love Me", my personal favorite "Grapevyne", "I Can't Tell You Why", among other solid songs. This was a great introduction to Brownstone, and I wish this group had a longer run.

*Adina Howard- Do You Wanna Ride

-So, young True had the biggest crush on Adina Howard. Perhaps at the time I didn't think much of it, but her music was enjoyable and this album is a prime example of what made her appealing, despite not being the most fluid project. Adina was sexy from head to toe and sold that image as best she could, as evidenced by the cover of the album. This project features her biggest hit "Freak Like Me", as well as other tracks like "My Up & Down", "It's All About You", and "If We Make Love Tonight". Adina delivers a solid debut that would reach gold status shortly after release.

*Waiting To Exhale Soundtrack

-When we look at the genius of Babyface, it is always traced back to his work with other artists and for other artists. With this soundtrack, Babyface is the man behind the production and the writing, but the soundtrack itself is all about the ladies and their vocals. As a result, we get an album full of women singing their souls out over Babyface production, and I can't deny the fact that this soundtrack delivers in a major way. With appearances from Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, TLC, Faith Evans, SWV, and more, the soundtrack reads like a list of every female R&B legend that was present at the time, or legends in the making. Tracks like "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)", "Why Does It Hurt So Bad", "Let It Flow", "All Night Long", "Sittin Up In My Room", and more make this a true classic and with over 7 million copies sold in the US and 13 million sold worldwide, it is quite possibly the biggest soundtrack of all time.

*Xscape- Off The Hook

-A slightly more mature album from these ladies than their debut, Xscape would craft something special here. So So Def was a label on top of the world during this time and their run continued with the sophomore album that birthed hits such as "Do You Want To", "Feels So Good", "Who Can I Run To", "Can't Hang", and "Keep It On The Real", as they would see production from Jermaine Dupri and Organized Noize, among a few others. This album would win awards, go platinum plus, and solidify Xscape as a true top group in music. Their run however slowed down after this album, but this is one of the biggest moments of their career for a number of reasons.

*Mariah Carey- Daydream

-It isn't very often that a white woman breaks through in R&B, really ever. Usually the audience is duped into thinking the singer has black in them, sort of the Teena Marie syndrome so to speak. To me, Mariah Carey always walked that line. No one knows her true ethnicity and people can speculate based on info they are given, but we do not know. That's mostly irrelevant to this album, but I just wanted to share this tidbit of info. Regardless, this is the fifth album from Mariah, and it was a very successful album that featured hit after hit and did mega numbers. I wouldn't necessarily consider the album itself a classic personally in terms of music, but to most, it is without a doubt. When you have an album that features "Fantasy", "One Sweet Day", "Always Be My Baby", "Forever", "Open Arms", and "Melt Away", in addition to being a diamond certified album, Daydream has a case for being the most important album of the entire year. To me, it is no. 2, just under Michael Jackson's double album, but as far as female artists go, Mariah was head and shoulders above the competition this year. This is still one of the greatest selling albums of all time.

*Faith Evans- Faith

-So, the songstress of Bad Boy would give the world a classic debut and make a name for herself. She was Biggie's wife of course, but she was an artist with an alluring voice that would push her to platinum heights and set her on the path to be a top female R&B artist. With production ranging from the smooth and sultry to the upbeat and bouncy, Faith delivers hits and quality album tracks like "You Used To Love Me", "Soon As I Get Home", "Ain't Nobody", "No Other Love", and more. Faith put her name on the Bad Boy flag with this album, and this is still her best work by far and one of my favorite debuts from the year.

*Monica- Miss Thang

-When she arrived in music, she was young and ready to shine in the spotlight. Knowing the journey Monica has experienced over the last 23 years, at least on the surface level, it is amazing to look back and revisit her debut album, which is actually an enjoyable release, though I was never a huge fan of her work. With Dallas Austin as the executive producer, the album gets solid production from him, Daryl Simmons, Tim & Bob, and Soulshock & Karlin, with hits like her iconic "Don't Take It Personal", "Before You Walk Out Of My Life", "Why I Love You So Much", and more. Monica, like the other women on the list, made their mark on 1995.



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