Soul music is the genre that I found fairly quickly in life. From listening to early Jackson 5 songs like Ben and Music and Me at age nine, I soon went on to discover more modern soul and R n B artists in the nineties, whilst dipping in and out of pop music at the same time. Here are ten of my favourite soulful tracks, spanning four decades of wonderful music of this genre:
God is Amazing by Deniece Williams
Upflifting gospel soul at its best. Her voice is so effortless and pretty.
Ribbon in the Sky by Stevie Wonder
One of the first albums that I had of Stevie's as a teen was a compilation of love songs. This was one of my favourites on it.
Our Love by Mary J Blige
I love the Motown feel to this song, especially in the verses with the harmonies.
Damn by Beverley Knight
This is from the album Prodigal Sister and when I bought it aged about fifteen I was starting to get into female R n B and soul singers. Still today, I think this is a great album and is an example of one of the great female UK vocalists.
Love Soul Bounce by Jill Scott
A bonus track on Light of the Sun, this is a highlight of a phenomenal album (the ultimate highlight, in my opinion, being Le Boom Vent Suite which I will put a bonus link to here). Jill, for me, is the queen of jazz/ soul. I was lucky enough to see her at Shepherd's Bush in concert about six years ago and she was probably the best live act I've seen.
Elusive by Lianne La Havas
A relatively less-known artist from the UK. You might know her track Is Your Love Big Enough? which is another great song from her album under the same name. Elusive is a great showcase of her soulful voice.
Heavy Day by Syreeta
Syreeta's voice is sweet as candy. Stevie Wonder, her once husband produced the album that this song comes from. There is definitely a similarity to Minnie Ripperton's tone in her voice and this ballad is just beautiful.
I can't Help It by Michael Jackson
I think I owned this on tape, along with other Jackson albums when I was ten or eleven. Off The Wall is probably my favourite album, with Thriller running a close second.
Show You The Way To Go by the Jacksons
I first heard this on the radio in the 90s and didn't own it, so I sought it out pretty quickly once I had access to the internet at about sixteen. The time in between the Jackson 5 and Michael becoming a solo artist is a good time for Jackson music.
Interested by India Arie
I thought I'd end on an uplifting song, and this does the job perfectly. I've loved India Arie since Video. She makes pure, soulful music that might not fit into the mold of chart R n B, but that's precisely why she's so special as an artist.