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Thread started 04/04/21 9:14pm

TrivialPursuit

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Has Neo-Soul died out?

Someone else asked about Prince's relation to neo-soul. It got me thinking - is anyone making neo-soul anymore? Progressive soul/neo-soul was considered by many to be a subgenre of sorts, to regular soul music (whatever that is).

Maxwell seems to take ages between a trilogy of records. D'Angelo is going all Sly Stone with shit. Not sure what Erykah is doin'. Looks like she did a couple of mix tapes (!), but her last new album was 11 years ago. Who is Jill Scott?, and some albums by Macy Gray or Angie Stone have a firm foot in neo-soul, but it seems they were the last ones to do anything with it. By the time Maxwell came out with BLACKsummer'snight, it feels like he left a lot of neo-soul behind. blackSUMMER'Snight was five years ago. Jill Scott's last record was 6 years ago.

I kinda hoped that Janelle Monae would bring some new neo-soul into things, and while there are some elements there, she's definitely doing (or was) something different. Lauryn Hill flashed up in it for a hot second, then went her own way in life.

So - what do you think happened to real neo-soul? Is soul or R&B music not progressing anymore or doing new-enough things that people are interested enough to search it out?

[Edited 4/4/21 21:21pm]

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #1 posted 04/04/21 9:17pm

Graycap23

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All of the artist in the catagory are either lazy or simply ran out of material.

FOOLS multiply when WISE Men & Women are silent.
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Reply #2 posted 04/05/21 7:57pm

TrivialPursuit

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Graycap23 said:

All of the artist in the catagory are either lazy or simply ran out of material.


Yeah, it really makes me wonder what has happened to it. I remember when Who is Jill Scott? came out in 2000. Music was in such a weird spot, that it was such a welcome relief to the ears. I didn't mind the Britneys or Nsyncs of the world. There's a balance for everything. But with neo-soul, we sorta had Macy Gray (which was not exactly neo-soul, but was progressive IMO), D'Angelo's Voodoo. India.Arie wouldn't release anything until 2001, and even that was a flash in the pan in some respects.

I gave up on Maxwell. I still love those first three records (plus unplugged), but the BLACKsummer series is meh, at best. Not neo-soul and too far between releases. However, it was 7 years between BLACK and SUMMER'S, which means we may get NIGHT by 2023.

So yeah, either they all have no inspiration, or just gave up on it all. Too bad, because it was such a rich and satisfying movement. It took a lot of the 90s schlock in R&B (not all, but a lot of it was schlock) and elevated it. It stood in start contrast to the R&B that was out there.

Tony Rich was sorta in that neo-soul group, but not sure what ever happened to him after "Nobody Knows." Wiki says he's been releasing music consistently. It's news to me.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #3 posted 04/05/21 10:13pm

domainator2010

Priya Ragu, fool. Check out my Priya Ragu thread. Also check Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, but that is....how do I put it, "HEAVY" music. It's *deep*. Not "light entertainment" like most of American stuff/crap. There's a Bengali sensibility to it. Give it a click or two. And then give it some more. And then keep on giving it, because the OTHER alternative is "music made by a computer algorithm" or porn, like Cardi B.

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Reply #4 posted 04/06/21 11:54am

EmmaMcG

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These days, most major labels just aren't willing to put any money into it. Record sales are basically dead all over so the only music that you see promoted now is whatever appeals to the masses. Why would a major label take a risk of putting out a new neo soul album which won't sell and won't appeal to the youth market, whose streams are relied on by the labels for profit.

Some of these neo soul artists still put out music but unless you go looking for it you'll never know it's out there because they just don't have the budget for promotion they used to have. Now, I'm generalising a bit. This is not the case for everyone. But a lot of non-popstars do go this route and continue to release new music that only their most hardcore fans are aware of.

As for D'Angelo, he's been talking recently about releasing a new album this year. He also released a song a couple of years ago for the video game "Red Dead Redemption 2" which was a bit of a departure from his usual style but excellent all the same. So it should be interesting to see how this new album turns out.
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Reply #5 posted 04/06/21 1:57pm

kitbradley

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Ledisi released an excellent album last year that was more in line with her first two albumss before she went contemporary. It went unnoticed. I believe she did win a Grammy though. Other than that, I really can't think of any recent "neo-soul" releases. That genre is pretty much dead. Very little audience for it.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
"The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing." - Socrates
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Reply #6 posted 04/07/21 12:31am

domainator2010

EmmaMcG said:

These days, most major labels just aren't willing to put any money into it. Record sales are basically dead all over so the only music that you see promoted now is whatever appeals to the masses. Why would a major label take a risk of putting out a new neo soul album which won't sell and won't appeal to the youth market, whose streams are relied on by the labels for profit. Some of these neo soul artists still put out music but unless you go looking for it you'll never know it's out there because they just don't have the budget for promotion they used to have. Now, I'm generalising a bit. This is not the case for everyone. But a lot of non-popstars do go this route and continue to release new music that only their most hardcore fans are aware of. As for D'Angelo, he's been talking recently about releasing a new album this year. He also released a song a couple of years ago for the video game "Red Dead Redemption 2" which was a bit of a departure from his usual style but excellent all the same. So it should be interesting to see how this new album turns out.


And what would YOU know about a SOUL, Emma?

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Reply #7 posted 04/07/21 6:24am

EmmaMcG

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domainator2010 said:



EmmaMcG said:


These days, most major labels just aren't willing to put any money into it. Record sales are basically dead all over so the only music that you see promoted now is whatever appeals to the masses. Why would a major label take a risk of putting out a new neo soul album which won't sell and won't appeal to the youth market, whose streams are relied on by the labels for profit. Some of these neo soul artists still put out music but unless you go looking for it you'll never know it's out there because they just don't have the budget for promotion they used to have. Now, I'm generalising a bit. This is not the case for everyone. But a lot of non-popstars do go this route and continue to release new music that only their most hardcore fans are aware of. As for D'Angelo, he's been talking recently about releasing a new album this year. He also released a song a couple of years ago for the video game "Red Dead Redemption 2" which was a bit of a departure from his usual style but excellent all the same. So it should be interesting to see how this new album turns out.


And what would YOU know about a SOUL, Emma?



.
[Edited 4/7/21 6:25am]
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Reply #8 posted 04/07/21 4:40pm

thebanishedone

isn't neo soul just a journalist label?

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Reply #9 posted 04/07/21 4:53pm

TrivialPursuit

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thebanishedone said:

isn't neo soul just a journalist label?


Possibly? It was also called progressive soul.

I do tend to believe it is its own genre, because no one from R. Kelly, K.C. and Jojo, or anyone else at the time was making music that sounded like the artists mentioned above.

It did feel like a progression of sound, something fuller, not typical or predictive.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #10 posted 04/07/21 5:08pm

thebanishedone

TrivialPursuit said:

thebanishedone said:

isn't neo soul just a journalist label?


Possibly? It was also called progressive soul.

I do tend to believe it is its own genre, because no one from R. Kelly, K.C. and Jojo, or anyone else at the time was making music that sounded like the artists mentioned above.

It did feel like a progression of sound, something fuller, not typical or predictive.

maybe because RKelly and the rest of the bunch came from the wings of post new jack swing while neo soul did have hip hop motifs ,mostly drum beats but the rest was usually backed by organic old school instrumentation like fender rhodes so it was retro rnb sound of the 70s mixed with hip hop kind of backbeat

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Reply #11 posted 04/08/21 10:24pm

domainator2010

Just wanted to say this - this is Susan Woj-something, the CEO of Youtube:

https://www.tubefilter.co...-pains.jpg

Sanjeeta, with BENGALI boobs put her song on this horse's site??!! What's Titless gonna do, the fucking accounts? BITCH.

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Reply #12 posted 04/08/21 10:47pm

TrivialPursuit

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domainator2010 said:

Just wanted to say this - this is Susan Woj-something, the CEO of Youtube:

https://www.tubefilter.co...-pains.jpg

Sanjeeta, with BENGALI boobs put her song on this horse's site??!! What's Titless gonna do, the fucking accounts? BITCH.


I have no idea what any of that means, nor does it have to do with neo-soul dying out (so far as I can translate).

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #13 posted 04/09/21 2:52am

EmmaMcG

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domainator2010 said:

Just wanted to say this - this is Susan Woj-something, the CEO of Youtube:



https://www.tubefilter.co...-pains.jpg



Sanjeeta, with BENGALI boobs put her song on this horse's site??!! What's Titless gonna do, the fucking accounts? BITCH.



Nonsense
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Reply #14 posted 04/11/21 10:13pm

funkdoctorrock

TrivialPursuit said:

Someone else asked about Prince's relation to neo-soul. It got me thinking - is anyone making neo-soul anymore? Progressive soul/neo-soul was considered by many to be a subgenre of sorts, to regular soul music (whatever that is).

Maxwell seems to take ages between a trilogy of records. D'Angelo is going all Sly Stone with shit. Not sure what Erykah is doin'. Looks like she did a couple of mix tapes (!), but her last new album was 11 years ago. Who is Jill Scott?, and some albums by Macy Gray or Angie Stone have a firm foot in neo-soul, but it seems they were the last ones to do anything with it. By the time Maxwell came out with BLACKsummer'snight, it feels like he left a lot of neo-soul behind. blackSUMMER'Snight was five years ago. Jill Scott's last record was 6 years ago.

I kinda hoped that Janelle Monae would bring some new neo-soul into things, and while there are some elements there, she's definitely doing (or was) something different. Lauryn Hill flashed up in it for a hot second, then went her own way in life.

So - what do you think happened to real neo-soul? Is soul or R&B music not progressing anymore or doing new-enough things that people are interested enough to search it out?

[Edited 4/4/21 21:21pm]



Listen to Moonchild
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Reply #15 posted 04/11/21 11:46pm

TrivialPursuit

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I was listening to Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite the other night. After, I found myself humming "Rope Burn" from Janet. It made me look at her music, and realize it was either her touching on something in the moment to get it on her record, or it was just a really good Jam/Lewis/Jackson production moment. I would tend to think Jam & Lewis knew about any neo-soul sound before it got to Janet's ears and maybe that just leaked onto The Velvet Rope. They sorta got the jump on New Jack Swing, too, so... plausible.

So "Rope Burn," "Every Time," "Got 'Til it's Gone," and even "I Get Lonely" really take a bite out of the then-new neo-soul movement. It think it was part of the magic of that record. I think it's probably Janet's best record to date... and that's a tough call because you still have things like Control, Rhythm Nation 1814, janet. to contend with. RN is sorta its own beast, a sound all its own. But you can't get from Control to janet. without going through Rhythm Nation 1814.

But because Janet was Janet, her neo-soul touches perhaps got overlooking.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #16 posted 04/12/21 5:45am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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too often it feels like they are trying to recreate the same sound or vibe. Robert Glasper (jazz - noe soul) is still making music, I like him, but I can see/hear how even he sounds repetitive

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Reply #17 posted 04/12/21 6:40am

LILpoundCAKE

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TrivialPursuit said:

I was listening to Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite the other night. After, I found myself humming "Rope Burn" from Janet. It made me look at her music, and realize it was either her touching on something in the moment to get it on her record, or it was just a really good Jam/Lewis/Jackson production moment. I would tend to think Jam & Lewis knew about any neo-soul sound before it got to Janet's ears and maybe that just leaked onto The Velvet Rope. They sorta got the jump on New Jack Swing, too, so... plausible.

So "Rope Burn," "Every Time," "Got 'Til it's Gone," and even "I Get Lonely" really take a bite out of the then-new neo-soul movement. It think it was part of the magic of that record. I think it's probably Janet's best record to date... and that's a tough call because you still have things like Control, Rhythm Nation 1814, janet. to contend with. RN is sorta its own beast, a sound all its own. But you can't get from Control to janet. without going through Rhythm Nation 1814.

But because Janet was Janet, her neo-soul touches perhaps got overlooking.


it goes back even further to "any time, any place" that sounds so much like something off Urban Hang Suite.

If U're lookin 4 dirt look in Ur own back yard - Plant some Peace Flowers in Ur warzone so I can fire my bodyguards.
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Reply #18 posted 04/12/21 6:46am

LILpoundCAKE

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since maxwell's old single releases from his first 2 albums are up on spotify (don't know how long they've been there but they weren't there from the start) i've been listening to so much of this music again, including Erykah's earlier work and Angie Stone's "Black Diamond". Macy's first album is also very good, still. they all came out the gate so incredibly strong and exciting. most of them sort of fizzled out a bit but i'm happy they are almost all still making music. some great people left us too soon, like lynden david hall.


If U're lookin 4 dirt look in Ur own back yard - Plant some Peace Flowers in Ur warzone so I can fire my bodyguards.
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Reply #19 posted 04/12/21 7:30am

2freaky4church
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Gotta search for it.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #20 posted 04/12/21 7:31am

2freaky4church
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Pandemic didn't help.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #21 posted 04/12/21 7:58pm

TrivialPursuit

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LILpoundCAKE said:

it goes back even further to "any time, any place" that sounds so much like something off Urban Hang Suite.


You're right about that. "Any time, any place," and maybe even (in a lighter sense) "That's The Way Love Goes," certainly flirts with a progressive soul sound.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #22 posted 04/13/21 4:13am

LILpoundCAKE

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TrivialPursuit said:

LILpoundCAKE said:

it goes back even further to "any time, any place" that sounds so much like something off Urban Hang Suite.


You're right about that. "Any time, any place," and maybe even (in a lighter sense) "That's The Way Love Goes," certainly flirts with a progressive soul sound.


I think people were inspired by them for sure cool

If U're lookin 4 dirt look in Ur own back yard - Plant some Peace Flowers in Ur warzone so I can fire my bodyguards.
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Reply #23 posted 04/13/21 7:53am

thebanishedone

Thats The Way Love Goes is a sample 9f Toto Georgy Porgy and that track is very old.thats not neo soul its pop rnb.Like brit pop is neo soul a legitimite term or was it some music journalist labeling it as a new soul music.To me it sounds like 70S sounding instrumentation mixed with slower to mid tempo hip hop beats.i dont think Dangelo Or Maxwell were like 'ok now i'm going to do a neo soul record.
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Reply #24 posted 04/13/21 12:05pm

TrivialPursuit

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thebanishedone said:

"That's The Way Love Goes" is a sample of Toto's "Georgy Porgy." That track is very old. That's not neo-soul. It's pop/RnB. Like Brit pop, is neo-soul a legitimite term or was it some music journalist labeling it as a new soul music? To me, it sounds like 70's sounding instrumentation mixed with slower to mid-tempo hip hop beats. I dont think D'Angelo Or Maxwell were like "Ok, now I'm going to do a neo soul record."


We know there's a sample or two in the song. We're not saying neo-soul is reliant on samples. We know what pop and R&B music are, we listen to it. I don't care who made up a word, I'm talking about the genre and sound of it. I also didn't say D or M were setting out to make anything other than what they felt in their hearts.

They were onto something because Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite sat on the shelf for a long time before Columbia put it out. They didn't know how to market it which, in hindsight, seems awfully shortsighted of them.

The Toto sample is more like an interploitation because it's the melody. Either way, I don't think that lends to its credibility or lack thereof. Neo-Soul pulls from a lot of places.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #25 posted 04/13/21 12:19pm

TrivialPursuit

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LILpoundCAKE said:

TrivialPursuit said:


You're right about that. "Any time, any place," and maybe even (in a lighter sense) "That's The Way Love Goes," certainly flirts with a progressive soul sound.


I think people were inspired by them for sure cool


I also think about folks like Digable Planets, and US3 that did some progressive stuff, which neo-soul could've taken from and reformed a bit. I mean, "Rebirth of Slick" has jazz and hip-hop references, but if the samples were actually just a played, organic part of the song, would it not be neo-soul adjacent, at least? If Me'Shell was part of neo-soul, she certainly had a form of rapping or fast talkin' on her songs. Doesn't mean she was less neo-soul for it.

A longer view sorta makes clear the road that neo-soul would eventually find and blaze for itself.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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