PBR&B (also known as Alternative R&B), is an emerging stylistic alternative to Contemporary R&B that's risen in The New '10s. The genre essentially combines R&B with a wide variety of genres. Basically, it's R&B meets everything else.
Many PBR&B artists present themselves in a Darker and Edgier fashion when compared to their contemporary counterparts. While they sing about sex, it's not entire focus of their lyrics. Many sing about spirituality, dark things that trouble them, failed relationships, and for some, drug use.
Note that while "PBR&B" is the common term, many of the artists under that label are against it. Reasons vary, but some think the term has a negative connotation while others, fitting of what it's about, don't like being held down to a single genre.
Artists generally agreed to be PBR&B include:
- Alessia Cara
- Autre Ne Veut
- Beyoncé (Self-Titled Album and onwards)
- Brandy (Afrodisiac only, but the album is considered the progenitor of the genre breaking out in the 2000s)
- Chet Faker
- Dev Hynes (Blood Orange)
- FKA Twigs
- Frank Ocean
- Glass Animals
- Haim (Indie rock with R&B/Hip-Hop stylings)
- How To Dress Well
- James Blake
- Jessie Ware
- Jessy Lanza
- Jhene Aiko
- Oh Wonder
- Party Next Door
- Solange (Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams and onwards)
- Spacek (an Ur-Example of sorts)
- Theophilus London
- Tory Lanez
- The Weeknd
- Darker and Edgier: Often considered this to Contemporary R&B.
- Dead Unicorn Trope: Many artists labeled PBR&B sound little like others, due to the wide variety of influences.
- Doing It for the Art: Many of these artists are exploring different sounds for their own interest, not for a commercial value.
- Drugs Are Good/Drugs Are Bad: Drug use isn't an uncommon topic, how they're portrayed depends on the artist.
- Genre-Busting: Uh, yeah. Many have a sound that's hard to define.
- Insistent Terminology: Many artists falling under this banner don't like the term, for a variety of reasons.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Just look at the laundry list of genres that PBR&B combines with. If you claim to be an alternative R&B artist and aren't playing this trope, you aren't doing it right.