Amel Larrieux has been recording R&B for a long time; she was a member of the duo Groove Theory—we know you've heard this one before—and has been recording solo material since 2000. (Her music nerd bona fides actually go back even further: she was ?uestlove's prom date!)

Her latest album has some exceptionally well written songs, particularly the powerful ballad "I Do Take." Other strong moments include the effervescent opener "Afraid" and the Prince-like bounce of "Berries and Cream." Throughout, the production is sparse and never ostentatious, allowing vocalist and songwriting to take center stage. This is a traditional R&B in record, not in the sense of sounding especially retro, but because it prioritizes vocal performance and songcraft over novelty of atmosphere. —David Drake