José James had a very specific vision for his seventh album: "It's the end of my jazz career. Completely." Perhaps some clarification is in order. The New York singer and songwriter, who in 2015 dropped a full-album tribute to Billie Holiday (Yesterday I Had the Blues), is here reborn as a powerful voice in contemporary R&B. While this is a man who's never been defined or confined by a genre, Love in a Time of Madness is something new: a focused foray into moody soul, electronic pop, and trap-addled beats, with the occasional influence of African folk, American gospel and—as befits our host's upbringing—Minneapolitan funk. And though James' voice is no less agile and his ear no less adventurous, this is also his most relatable, daresay sexiest work yet, detailing love's ups and downs without holding back an ounce of emotion.