Contrary to popular belief, the music most celebrated on the charts isn’t always the best. Okay, that was sarcasm. But even artists with hits on the charts have a slew of singles that fall by the wayside. Not every album is a Katy Perry string of #1s. Thus, here is a list of artists whose albums were certainly recognized, but had singles that didn’t quite get the attention they deserved.
1. Rye Rye, “Boom, Boom”
Rye Rye’s delayed and delayed album Go! Pop! Bang! finally came out in May of this year–and is really fantastic. An upbeat, eletro-pop banger that not only samples the Vengaboys‘ “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom”, but also elevates Rye Rye’s signature sound. Unfortunately, it didn’t do so well on the charts, only hitting #9 on Dance Songs.
2. Michael Kiwanuka, “Bones”
Throwback soul with infused folk, Michael Kiwanuka’s debut album Home Again is full of songs perfect for quiet nights over cups of tea. His fourth UK single “Bones” was a standout, a beautiful love song that sings: “Cause without you I’m just bones.”
“Dope Bitch” or “Dope Chick” (as the heard on the radio) one of the year’s best R&B tracks, from one of R&B’s best: The-Dream. Not to mention G.O.O.D. Music’s Pusha-T, who can be heard on basically every track this year? That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not one to say that “Dope Bitch” deserved much more love than it got from the charts.
A long-awaited Brandy and Monica reunion came in the form of R. Kelly-penned “It All Belongs To Me”, a song where (unlike “The Boy Is Mine”) B & M team up to get back at the guy who came between him. Whether or not it’s the same guy as they originally fought over (Shout out to Mekhi Phifer!) this dude isn’t getting off easy. And unfortunately, neither did the song.
5. Elle Varner,”Oh What A Night”
A getting-ready-to-go-out song if there ever was won, “Oh What A Night” manages to pump up any prospective party-goer while warning them of the nightlife hazards ahead. It also is the fourth single from Elle Varner’s incredible album, Perfectly Imperfect, off which “Refill” got a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Song. Whether or not “Refill” gets its Grammy, “Oh What A Night” is a single not to be ignored.
6. Jessie Ware,”Running”
Jessie Ware’s album Devotion got plenty of attention, but arguably not under after the album’s third single, “Wildest Moments” was circulated online. However, the album’s first single “Running” was released in February and is one of the album’s best.
7. R. Kelly, “Share My Love”
The sequel to Kells’ Love Letteralbum (a Motown revival full of steppers) was this year’s Write Me Back (another Motown revival full of steppers.) No worries, R. Kelly has enough songs to last the world until the end of time and he won’t let you forget it. Meanwhile, perhaps the overabundance of Kells tracks caused “Share My Love”, Write Me Back‘s lead single, to get a bit lost in the fray. Undeservingly so!
8. Melanie Fiona, “This Time”
R&B grew even stronger this year, as the market was pleasantly flooded with wonderful singers and songwriters. For example: Melanie Fiona. The MF Life, Fiona’s second album, had a bunch of standout tracks, including “L.O.V.E.” with John Legend. But “This Time” with a verse from J. Cole and Fiona’s catchy hook is deserving of multiple listens.