R&B / Soul: Summer 2024

Monarch R&B/Soul Recommendations


Dopamine by Normani is a mesmerizing debut album that solidifies her status as a powerhouse artist in the pop music landscape. Bursting with infectious beats, sultry vocals, and undeniable charisma, Normani delivers a collection of tracks that are both fiercely confident and deeply vulnerable.

From the irresistible grooves of “Wild Side” to the empowering anthem “Fair,” Dopamine showcases Normani’s versatility as a performer and her ability to command the spotlight with ease. Each song is meticulously crafted, with production that is sleek and polished, elevating Normani’s vocals to new heights.


Atavista marks a bold departure for Childish Gambino, presenting a genre-bending fusion of soul, funk, and psychedelic influences. The album transcends traditional boundaries, inviting listeners on a kaleidoscopic journey through the complexities of identity, culture, and spirituality. Each track is a sonic tapestry woven together with intricate instrumentation and layered vocals that create a rich and immersive listening experience.

Atavista is a thought-provoking exploration of the human experience, with Childish Gambino delving into themes of heritage, legacy, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world.


VANTABLACK by Lalah Hathaway is a stunning testament to her unparalleled talent and artistic vision. Named after the darkest substance known to man, the album delves into the depths of human emotion with a raw intensity and honesty that is both captivating and deeply moving. From soul-stirring balladry to infectious grooves, VANTABLACK showcases Hathaway’s remarkable vocal prowess and her ability to effortlessly navigate a diverse range of musical styles. Each track is a masterclass in vocal technique, with Hathaway’s rich, velvety voice soaring to breathtaking heights and plumbing the depths of the human soul.

Lyrically, VANTABLACK is a poignant exploration of identity, love, and resilience. Hathaway’s lyrics are poetic and introspective, offering profound insights into the human condition and the complexities of navigating the world as a Black woman. Musically, VANTABLACK is a tour de force of sonic innovation, with Hathaway incorporating elements of R&B, jazz, and funk to create a sound that is uniquely her own. The album’s production is impeccable, with lush arrangements and intricate instrumentation that provide the perfect backdrop for Hathaway’s mesmerizing vocals.

Overall, VANTABLACK is a breathtaking achievement from Lalah Hathaway, showcasing her talent as both a vocalist and a songwriter.

Cape Town To Cairo

Cape Town to Cairo by PJ Morton is a vibrant and soulful journey through the rich tapestry of African-inspired rhythms and contemporary R&B. Morton, known for his impeccable musicianship and emotive vocals, delivers a captivating album that seamlessly blends elements of traditional African music with modern production techniques. From infectious grooves to laidback vibes, Cape Town to Cairo is a celebration of diversity and unity. Morton’s smooth vocals glide effortlessly over lush arrangements, creating a sonic landscape that is both mesmerizing and uplifting.

The album explores themes of love, longing, and cultural identity. Tracks evoke a sense of wanderlust and adventure as well as pay homage to the continent’s rich heritage and resilience. Cape Town to Cairo is a masterful fusion of genres, with Morton drawing inspiration from a wide range of influences, including jazz, funk, and gospel. The album’s production is polished and dynamic, with layers of instrumentation that add depth and texture to each track.

Cape Town to Cairo is a triumph for PJ Morton, showcasing his versatility as an artist and his commitment to pushing the boundaries of his craft. With its infectious rhythms and heartfelt lyrics, this album is sure to resonate with listeners of all backgrounds.