Hip-hop is having a good year. Kanye West, Frank Ocean and Miguel are supposed to come out with a new album later this year. Even D’Angelo moved into 2015 marking a return to music after a 15-year hiatus. That’s way too many things crossed off the wish list, so naturally there had to be some kind of disappointment. For the first half of 2015, R&B has taken the L.

There’s been some bright spots this year, but you really had to reach to find a great R&B album. In fact, there wasn’t really enough to fill this list. Since we would never want to have a bunch of undeserving albums fill this list by default, we had to dig into EPs (British singer Nao’s superb February 15) and mixtapes (Kehlani‘s You Should Be Here and Tinashe‘s Amethyst) to round out the list.

Also, an honorable mention ought to go out to Dawn Richard‘s BlackHeart. The album is an audacious one, using fictitious elements as a route to expand on the human experience rather than a piece of escapism. It’s a great album, but it’s not on this list because of how wide it is in scope. R&B is a small fraction of its madness. “Titans (Interlude),” arguably the lone pure R&B song on BlackHeart, is an absolute banger. But one track dedicated to R&B isn’t enough, so Richard’s excellent album had to be left off.

With all that said, there’s still some good material here. An R&B songstress makes a triumphant return after a five-year retirement, a duo finds their inner soul in outer space and JoDeCi is back. See what’s what in The Boombox’s 10 Best R&B Projects of 2015 (So Far) here.