Blockbuster rap albums may have been scarce in 2014, but the year was filled with noteworthy non-Hip-Hop projects. Between Sam Smith blowing up the radio with an album full of hits, Jhené Aiko dealing with a break-up and the hottest producer in the game dropping a solo set, there was plenty to choose from in the R&B/Pop world, but which LP was the cream of the crop? That's what we're here to figure out...
For a full breakdown of the 2014 Best of the Booth Awards, including nominees in every category, click here.
Best Non Hip-Hop Album and/or Project
Allan Rayman - Indrid Cold EP
Blending rap, R&B, pop and a little bit of rock, Allan Rayman creates a diverse, unique opus that as irresistible as it is replayable.
August Alsina - Testimony
The New Orleans-repping singer/songwriter blends his intoxicating R&B crooning with some serious hip-hop vibes. Guest spots from some of the biggest emcees in the game, including Pusha T and Rick Ross, only add to the crossover appeal.
Daley - Days & Nights
The UK's been serving up buzzworthy R&B singers like fish and chips lately. Daley is among the cream of the crop, as he demonstrates on debut set Days & Nights.
Jesse Boykins III - Love Apparatus
How many R&B albums this year were cool enough to feature hip-hop veteran Phonte? Just one: Jesse Boykins's Love Apparatus. This project is so fresh!
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Jhené Aiko - Souled Out
Aiko has captured the hearts of music fans thanks to her looks alone, but it's the music that made us fall in love with her freshman full-length.
Lorenzo Asher - Numismatics
Though he raps and raps well, Lorenzo Asher has so many different talents and styles that you can't simply call him a rapper. That eclecticism is what makes Numismatics such a unique, engaging listen.
Pharrell -G I R L
Normally, the Neptunes leader spends his time making other artists sound really good, but on G I R L it's all Pharrell, all the time (unless you count guests like Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus). When the songs are this catchy, you won't find us complaining.
Raury -Indigo Child EP
Raury came out of nowhere to deliver one of the strongest projects of the year regardless of genre. It's easy to see why he's drawn the attention of guys like Kanye West. Indigo Child is an incredible project. In fact, it's almost too good to be a debut.
Sam Smith -In the Lonely Hour
We shouldn't even have to explain why Smith's debut is here (and is arguably the favorite to win). We'll let songs like "Latch" and "Stay With Me" do the talking for us.
Theophilus London -VIBES
After a brief hiatus, Theophilus London returns with an album executive produced by Kanye West. Not a bad way to make a comeback, eh?