R&B Fridays: Episode 25

On picture duty for the 25th episode is a young newcomer who I am going to be tracking very closely, as he’s going to be huge: Bruno Mars was recently featured on B.o.B’s phenomenal “debut” single and is featured twice in this episode.

Leona Lewis, R. Kelly, Bobby Valentino and others provide tracks too, so click on and grab some goodness.

R. Kelly-Fallin’ From The Sky
-Coming in a little late on this as I got it after posting the last R&B Friday, but it was worth it. It’s the bonus track from his Untitled release, which dropped this week. Most of the previously-leaked tracks have been pretty likeable, and this is one of the better ones. The AutoTune is only lightly used, and allows Kelly’s voice to shine through on this great slow jam.

Alicia Keys-Put It In A Love Song ft. Beyoncé
-The anticipated collab from The Element of Freedom is leaked, and it’s admittedly a bit disappointing. By regular R&B standards, it’s decent, but you’d think a collaboration of this sort of magnitude would produce something better.

Gucci Mane-Sex In Crazy Places ft. Nicki Minaj, Trina & Bobby Valentino
-I’m not sure why this is even a Gucci Mane song, as the features do the vast majority of the work (especially Bobby Valentino). It’s a decent R&B track, with a fairly simple beat and catchy chorus. A great name for a track too!

Johnta Austin-Pieces
-A much more pop-sounding beat, Johnta Austin demonstrates how he can handle different styles easily. The production even has some light indie/rock influences, and sounds like it would fit someone like Leona Lewis very well. Johnta does a great job on it however, and really steps up to the challenge.

Leona Lewis-I See You
-Makes sense to follow that last comment with this. Leona’s vocal talent is undeniable to all, but she seems really limited to slow, powerful tracks which is eventually going to get very boring. I’m not saying to go down the (utterly ridiculous) Alexandra Burke route, but maybe step into some mid-tempo stuff? Having said that, whilst this isn’t my thing, the vocals are great as always and it will go down well with pop fans.

Bruno Mars-Bulletproof
-It feels a bit harsh putting Bruno in here and pigeonholing him in R&B, as he’s got an expressive style that floats across a few different genres. Regardless of that, this is a really good track with some strong vocals and a sharp, futuristic beat that suits his voice quite well.

Chris Brown-Famous Girl
-The final leak we’ll be posting from Chris’ nearly-here Graffiti album, this song is fairly obviously about Rihanna. Some of the lyrics are very interesting, and give you a little insight into the side of things that no-one seems interested in: Chris Brown’s. However, whilst the lyrics and singing are all good, I can’t help but feel this was the wrong beat to choose.

Raheem DeVaughn-Lyin’ To Myself
-Comfortably one of the strongest tracks this week, Raheem drops a very soulful track which is reminiscient of some of the Brian McKnight material we got a little while back. Well written and sung, the production is kept simple which works well for this sort of track.

Starr-Secret Remix ft. Jim Jones & Juelz Santana
-Keeping it with the strong tracks, you would be a complete idiot (and should look into using a different website) if you didn’t recognise the song sampled here. Admittedly, the beat is the huge appeal of the track, but Starr (who I know nothing about-unless it’s Joi Starr?) does a decent job with her singing on this, turning it into a likeable R&B track. The guest spots aren’t bad either, and Juelz is rapidly reminding me of Fabolous with his smooth guest verses.

-Ne-Yo comes through as always (literally) with something new, this time dropping off a slower jam which is decent. It’s well sung, and the production has some nice subtle switches and touches.

Bruno Mars-Killa On The Run
-Finishing off with another great Bruno Mars track. The production has some similarities to the last one with its high-paced and energy on the chorus, although it isn’t quite as ‘loud’ as the last one. Bruno’s vocals are given a little more focus on this, and I’m really liking the track all-round.

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