R&B Fridays: Episode 33

Similar to last week’s episode, this one contains a nice blend of big names, up-and-comers and some that we (I) haven’t heard from in a while.

We’ve dropped some R&B-related goodies throughout the week too, be sure to scroll down a couple of posts and check out the video for Usher’s lead single from Raymond vs. Raymond. When you’ve done that, scroll back up and enter the R&B room.

Donell Jones-Free (Cookin’ Soul Remix)
-Very, very enjoyable track. Really chilled out and mellow, with Cookin’ Soul bringing a little bounce and depth to the production. You should all know their production credentials by now, and Donell’s always had a great voice.

Leighton Meester-Your Love’s A Drug
-I really liked her first single, and the TV star’s second leak isn’t too bad. It’s definitely not as good/addictive as the first, but it’s a fairly paint-by-numbers pop track.

Sean Garrett-Get It All ft. Nicki Minaj
-Why Sean why? His debut album had some unbelievable tracks on it, and since then he keeps leaking this minimalistic stuff which just sounds like Gucci Mane/Soulja Boy throw-aways. It just sounds so lazy.

Chris Brown-They Say
-Another bonus track from Graffiti (despite that being released like 6 weeks ago…) surfaces, and it’s another winner. I like the meshing of the atmospheric production with a fairly uptempo drum loop. Quite an odd juxtaposition, but Chris’ vocals make this work really well.

-The legendary Sade’s album actually fully leaked, but this will probably be the final track I post from there. Just as well it’s cracking too, with a nice chilled out vibe. Definitely the kind of track that will seamlessly slot into any of your playlists, and worth checking out for readers unfamiliar with Sade. One to break the headphones out for.

Jackie Boyz-Everybody Knows
-Picking up the tempo and dropping something with some energy, the Jackie Boyz deliver a nice pop/R&B crossover. The hook is very catchy and memorable, and the production certainly doesn’t disappoint either. Good vocals as ever, and some big potential in this one.

Black Eyed Peas-Grapes
-I think this is an unreleased track, but I don’t care enough about them to confirm that statement. If you’ve read this far into this particular track review, you’re going to download it no matter what I say so I’m not wasting my time reviewing this. You already know what I’ll say.

Mario Winans-The Pain
-Thankfully, Mario Winans arrives to calm me down. I love this production, with each element being very distinct and seperated, which creates a really clean and crisp backdrop for his vocals. Definitely worth checking out.

Kelis-Scream & Shout
-A pretty dancey track from Kelis, with some electro influences on the production. Quite like the chorus breakdown on this, but the rest of the track doesn’t move above average for me but does have some potential.

J Rome-Against The Wall Remix ft. Wale
-Newcomer J Rome enlists Wale to jump on what is actually a pretty decent track. The production is pretty good with some hip-hop elements, and he’s got a very likeable voice. As if you needed to be told, Wale’s verse is superb.

Taio Cruz-What You Need
-Whether it’s unreleased or new I’m not sure of, but it’s a pretty good track either way. Could be a cut from Rokkstar, and it’s got that typical Taio sound with a futuristic/synth-based production and a memorable chorus. Worth checking out.

Joe-When The Light Goes Off
-Always had time for Joe. Tim and Bob do the production for this, and I’m absolutely convinced that they’re the most underrated producers in R&B music. They’ve cooked up some awesome productions, and always use strings and/or wind instruments really well. The veteran Joe is one of the best singers in the game, and it makes for an atmospheric and enjoyable track.

David Guetta-Hero ft. Novel
-This track wasn’t on Guetta’s One Love, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. Novel is definitely one of the better vocalists around, and this beat is pretty good too. It’s probably the most contemplative track I’ve seen emerge from Guetta, and it keeps a nice tempo throughout.

One Chance-Wutchu Gon Do
-This phonetically-spelled track has more than a tinge of hip-hop about it. It’s no secret that I prefer One Chance on the slower joints, but I can’t deny that this track is alright. The beat is pretty nice, and whilst the vocals haven’t gripped me on first listen, they may do eventually.

Rock City-You’re Still Here
-Another dope track from the Rock City brothers, coming on a more R&B tip (and hence less Reggae) than their other material. Very, very catchy hook on this and likeable verses and builds too. One of those crossover tracks too, which could work in a club or just for a chillout track, quite rare to find.

Jamie Foxx-Quit Your Job
-Rounding things off with a likeable joint from Jamie Foxx. Nice and simple on the production front which gives the vocals and lyrics the shine, and they do a decent job holding the track together. It’s not spectacular by any means, but it’s one of those that will probably grow on you with every listen.

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