I’ve been obsessed with Yola since I heard her guest sing on the titular song on The Highwomen's debut CD. I love her rich voice and her songs which harken back to classic country music. Recommended by Lynnanne.
Woods honors different prominent activists and artists through this collection of songs that are a send-up of an assignment she used with students as a teacher with Young Chicago Authors. Glossy voice, and gorgeous, understated production. Be sure to check out the Fatimah Asghar-directed video for "Eartha" that was filmed in Chicago! Recommended by Mimosa.
This 3-CD, 51 song box set is a treasure to spend time with. The depth and range of Nina Simone's voice is palpable, with classics like "See-Line Woman" and "I Put a Spell on You" mingled with anthems like "Mississippi Goddam." A must. Recommended by Mimosa.
Love, loss, motherhood, spirituality: Lauryn Hill tackles the big themes with so much heart. Listen close for the adorable interludes with young people reflecting on what it means to love fiercely. Recommended by Mimosa.
Dearly beloved, let us now praise the Purple One. This album has so many great tracks, but start with "When the Doves Cry." Who would have thought that the phrase "animals striking curious poses" could sound remotely desirable? Only the genius of Prince. Recommended by Mimosa.
I am not sure how you could have made it through 2019 without hearing about Lizzo and this album. Lizzo is the embodiment of good vibes and self-love. If you are feeling a little down, she is a guaranteed pick-me-up. In addition to being a phenomenal lyricist, she is also an accomplished flutist and incorporates the flute into a lot of her music. Recommended by Becca.
The Queen of Soul still reigns with both original songs and classics on this compilation. Whether you first encountered Franklin as a guest on Sesame Street, or learned about her after her passing in 2018, this album is a great introduction to and a reckoning with the legacy she's left us - and what a rich trove of hits there are. Recommended by Mimosa.
I really don’t know anything about jazz, but I love this album. Perfect for a calm or reflective mood, and noted to be one of the best and most influential jazz albums ever made. Recommended by Tiffany.
This album may not be counted by others as Kendrick's best, but I have listened to this album again and again, finding something new each time I listen to its stories of fame, power, and the perils of success as a young person. Recommended by Mimosa.