Best Of 90s Soul

From the mid-eighties soul music became very pale. It w represented by a few pop singers, like Whitney Houston and, a few years later, Mariah Carey. It seemed fully wiped from the table by house and hip hop. By the beginning of the 1990s, however, it reappeared, merged with hip hop. Female singers like Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige and En Vogue became the frontrunners of a new urban sound. Richard J. Ripani wrote in "The New Blue Music: Changes in Rhythm & Blues, 1950-1999" that Janet Jackson's Control (1986) was "important to the development of R&B for a number of reasons", as she and her producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, "crafted a new sound that fuses the rhythmic elements of funk and disco, along with heavy doses of synthesizers, percussion, sound effects, and a rap music sensibility." That same year, Teddy Riley began producing R&B recordings that included hip hop influences. This combination of R&B style and hip hop rhythms was termed new jack swing (or swingbeat) and was applied to artists such as Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat, Al B. Sure!, Guy, Jodeci and Bell Biv DeVoe.

Around the mid-nineties the genre was simply named R&B and became massive. When the 1990s came to a close, the sound became even more soulful, when Maxwell and Erykah Badu appeared on the scene. Female vocal acts like Destiny’s Child and Toni Braxton explored the pop side of it and Aaliyah (picture), together with producer Timbaland, experimented with various sound effects, like crying babies. I selected a couple of the best soulful songs of the decade. Enjoy!


Nicolas Bearde – Can We Pretend? (1998)
Nicole Jackson – Say You Will (1995)
Jamiroquai ‎– Space Cowboy (1995)
Johnny Gill – Touch (1996)
The Jones Girls – Getting On With My Own Life (1992)
Erykah Badu – Next Lifetime (1996)
Maysa Leak – Mirrors (1999)
Kashif – Can We Just Get Along (1998)
Maxwell – Suite Lady (The Proposal Jam) (1996)
Robert Gordon – What’s A Man To Do (1996)
Beverly Knight – Steppin’ On My Shoes (1995)
Mýa – What Cha Say (1998)
Monica ‎– Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days) (1995)
Chanté Moore – If I Gave You Love (1999)
TLC – Creep [Maxx Remix] (1996)
Aaliyah – Hot Like Fire (1996)
Montell Jordan – Superlover Man (1996)


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