R&B Fridays: Episode 29

The first episode of 2010 brings a nice blend of established and new artists this week, which makes a pleasant change from the recent R&B Friday domination by big names.

This episode includes a remix to one of my favourites songs of 2008, and other cracking tracks, coming in at a collective total of 19 tracks this week. There are a couple of names making comebacks in this post too, so be sure to click on and start the year off with plenty of music.

Alicia Keys-Heaven’s Door
-Yet another bonus track from her recent release, this one being taken from the Japan edition of the album. As with all of her recent material I’m really liking this and she changes styles once more, this time going for something leaning slightly more on the acoustic side of things. Awesome track.

-This whole track was written, recorded and distributed yesterday afternoon: Dude is efficient. The track is a little disappointing though, and whilst some of the sentiments are nice, it’s not a scratch on some of his album material.

Chingy-Be My Girl ft. Bobby Valentino
-Where did this guy crawl out from? This is a typical Chingy track, blurring the lines between R&B and Hip-Hop. It’s therefore nothing groundbreaking, but it works and it’s easy to listen to.

Akon-Nosy Neighbour
-I’m not sure how to feel about this. The beat is really good and Akon’s vocals are decent, but the lyrics are about spying on a woman through her window with binoculars…That’s just weird. It’s an good track though, lyrical idiocy aside.

-The more tolerable alternative to Sean Kingston could score another hit with this one. It’s a very, very catchy hook with simple but effective verses. The beat is very pop influenced, and his vocals are decent.

Jason Derulo-Sleep Walkin’
-1 of 2 Derulo tracks this week. This is another track on a par with recent releases, in terms of the fact it’s rather good. At some point, he needs to get one of these tracks out as most of them have been good enough to be considered as singles. This has a good beat, good hook and decent verses. What more do you need?

Jamie Foxx-Straight To The Dancefloor ft. Lil’ Wayne
-I gave you a couple of versions of this last week, and this would be the final version. I maintain my beliefs from the previous post, and I believe this will be a pretty big hit for Jamie.

Cody B-She Got It ft. Ja Rule
-Rule is looking to make a comeback, and brings some slow flow over this track. It’s got a nice, simple slow jam beat and Cody’s vocals are decent, although he doesn’t quite show enough to seperate him from the multitude of new R&B singers emerging. Good song all round though.

Dirty Money-Hair Down
-Another really good track from Diddy and his duo of divas. Comes on a more slower tip than their other material, and the production is absolutely on point. Once again, even though he’s AutoTuning, Diddy’s voice sounds half decent when singing. Very good track all round, I’ll be playing this for some time.

Paula Campbell-Denial Remix ft. Ne-Yo
-I know for a fact I have a demo for this track, but I can’t find it. Annoying. The beat for this one is good, with a nice mix of guitars and claps dominating. Both brings good vocals to the track, and it’s a good listen.

Ke$ha-Blah Blah Blah (Feat. 3OH!3)
-Completely flipping the tone of the last few tracks, something that isn’t even R&B but it’s a good place to put it. This, as expected from the artists involved, is a loud and uptempo affair aimed at the clubs. The dance-inspired beat ties nicely with the in-your-face chorus and fits both Ke$ha and 3OH!3 well. Worth grabbing for a good uptempo track, and if you like any of either artists’ previous material you’ll really enjoy this.

-A solid effort from Cassie, although her recently improved singing isn’t really on display here as she’s not at her vocal best. The beat is really good though, and definitely makes this track.

J. Holiday-Love Lockdown
-A remix/cover hybrid of the Kanye track from J. Holiday, and it’s OK. It’s by no means as good as the original, but it’s worth checking out.

Grind Mode-I’m So High (Remix) ft. B.o.B and Rick Ross
-The original version of this was one of my favourite tracks of 2008. Absolutely love this beat, the chorus, and the verses. Everything is good about this, and it’s an incredibly rare type of track that you can either chill out to or dance to in a club. I wasn’t actually aware of this track until I heard Kid Cudi’s version on A Kid Named Cudi. Most people regard that (Maui Wowie) as one of the best tracks on Cudi’s mixtape and it has to be said that the beat plays a big part in that (as well as Cudi’s awesome flow on it). Flashforward to earlier this week, and this remix has B.o.B dropping a killer opening verse. Although the Rick Ross remix/verse is quite old, his verse is actually quite likeable too. You can grab Cudi’s version, and of course the original version below if you want to check them out (which I fully, 100% recommend that you do!!). 3 absolute must-have tracks.

Kid Cudi-Maui Wowie and Grind Mode-I’m So High

Tweet-Love Again
-Remember Tweet? Her name doesn’t have the same effect now that Tweets are commonly associated with Twitter, but at least her music is good. This is a really slow, relaxed bit of R&B which has both a nice simple beat, and decent vocals. Really easy listening.

Jason Derulo-Sky’s The Limit
-Probably not as good as the above Derulo track, as the verses are a bit empty. However, the track is saved by a big chorus which Derulo gets just right. The beat is decent, and progresses well into the chorus.

Auburn-Just Text
-Closing this one off with a new artist. Like Iyaz, Derulo and a couple of others, Auburn is signed to super-producer J.R. Rotem’s Beluga Heights label and he’s got another potential winner here. The beat is pretty good, and her vocals are decent. The track has an extremely memorable hook, and one that could propel Auburn right into the mainstream.

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