Over the years since, I have grown to love Mary J. Blige and John Legend in particular, but there is something about all R&B music that is comforting to me. I recently picked up a free song card at Starbucks and it happened to be a song by Leela James. The song is pretty good but got me thinking in general about some of my favorite R&B songs. I compiled a playlist and have been listening to it for the past couple days, tweaking it as needed.
This morning my teenage daughters and I left for a little road trip to visit some prospective colleges and had to leave at the ungodly hour of 4:00 a.m. Being the good teenagers that they are, they promptly got bored of entertaining their driver and fell asleep, at which point I turned on my new playlist (the girls would never have tolerated that while conscious) and let my inner Anita Baker come out. It was while singing along that I nearly dropped my favorite Alicia Keys song because I discovered that it’s sung at a pitch that is unmanageable for most humans, but I kept it in because Alicia seems to manage it fine and likely didn’t intend for it to be sung by suburban moms. While we might all have a little R&B in us, mine will probably be limited to the car- turns out I sing better in my mind than in real life.
As I write this, my student driver is behind the wheel and we are heading from Indiana to Kentucky, both relatively far from R&B, I believe. Anyway, the girls are awake and we actually have a country station on, which the car radio probably feels more comfortable with in this area. Here is my list (*Mary J. and John Legend songs are simply representing all songs by those artists):
· Family Affair (Sly & The Family Stone)
· Let’s Stay Together (Al Green)
· Sweet Love (Anita Baker)
· Better Things (Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings)
· Just Fine (Mary J. Blige)
· Mercy Mercy Me (Marvin Gaye)
· She Don’t Have to Know (John Legend)
· If I Ain’t Got U (Alicia Keys)
· Killing Me Softly With His Song (The Fugees)
· A Change is Gonna Come (Leela James)