Exclaim!'s Top 15 Soul and R&B Albums Best of 2016

13. KING
(KING Creative)
After their 2011 EP The Story garnered praise from the likes of Prince, Erykah Badu and Questlove, among other genre icons, Los Angeles trio KING largely went silent, save for collaborations and a few single releases. The release of their debut LP We Are KING in 2016 showed the lengthy five-year wait was worth it, as they ventured further into their flighty, enveloping soul sound, which remains as vibrant as the record's cover.
If the trio's penchant for stunning vocal harmonies doesn't grab you, their lush production undoubtedly will, from the 8-bit sway of "The Greatest" to the punchy guitar and horn-led grooves that close "Oh, Please!" to extended mixes of the three tracks that first brought KING to everyone's attention. Both the lyrics and sonics are crafted as lovingly as ever five years later, and for a world that could use a little more of that, We Are KING serves as vital listening.
Calum Slingerland