R&B Fridays: Episode 35

Quite the range of acts once again, both in terms of popularity and age, with the boy Justin Bieber making an appearance as well as veterans Jagged Edge. Not too much range in the quality though: it’s predominantly good stuff as I’ve taken time to root out (most of) the poor stuff. Any crap stuff is just there to make the rest look better.

I’ve been listening to a lot of R&B this week, so click on to sort yourself out for the coming week.

Christina Milian-Kiss It
-Very poppy track from Milian, but something quite likeable about this one. It’s got a very retro feel, and has a nice defiant lyrical message.

Janelle Monáe-Tightrope ft. Big Boi
-The legend that is Janelle Monáe drops a funky soul track that is definitely staying in my rotation for a while. The production is bouncy and likeable, whilst Janelle’s vocal talents and energy need no explanation. Nice to hear from 1/2 of OutKast too, even if his verse is a little short.

Jason Derulo-Blind
-More Derulo, as per every week. This one is likely to be on the upcoming album, and is a much slower and more heartfelt track than most of his previous work. Really like this a lot too, and he does a great job on the vocals, especially the jump from verse to chorus. Simple production, which is right for this sort of track.

Livvi Franc-Automatik
-Ain’t heard from Livvi since the Pitbull collab. She follows the same sort of pattern, going for a club banger with this one, and she’ll probably succeed. It’s got the perfect production for uptempo R&B, and the chorus is simple and catchy. Should be a strong second single for her.

Rihanna-Tip Pon Toe
-You’d be forgiven for thinking this was ladies night this week in fairness. This is an unreleased track, probably from her earlier days by the sounds of the track. It’s got that Caribbean influence that her early music contained, but also is a bit generic at times. Probably worth checking out if you liked her old stuff.

Raheem DeVaughn-Microphone
-Really, really like this song. Smooth, soulful and very suave. Something very Maxwell-esque about this, but Raheem definitely puts his own stamp on it. Absolutely nothing wrong with this one. Certainly worth picking up no matter what you came here for.

-A Ne-Yo song that isn’t a female demo? Finally! I like this too, with a nice futuristic production complimented by some half-decent range in Ne-Yo’s vocals. The chorus is good, although maybe not great, but the chorus breakdown and verses are both really good. Really like this beat though.

Belly-Make It Go (Part 2) Ft. Ron Browz & Drake
-Whilst Belly’s name/rapping never fail to make me laugh, I don’t mind this track. The beat is pretty smooth, and even if Ron Browz sounds like he’s replaced his blood with AutoTune, I can deal with it in the small doses we get it in. Decent Drake verse, coming with a slower delivery.

Marques Houston-Swag Sex ft. Soulja Boy
-It’s really not as bad as the title/feature suggest. MH holds things together pretty well with his vocals, and the production isn’t bad. Soulja Boy is Soulja Boy, we already have our expectations and they’re lived up to.

Jay Sean-Walking Alone
-Bonus track from the Japan release of his recent album. Pretty much fits with the rest of the album, as it’s a slower track with Jay Sean assuming most of the work in keeping things going. I thought the album was alright actually, and this is as good as anything on there. Surprised this didn’t make the main album cut.

Christina Milian-Joan of Arc (Baby Girl)
-You can never have enough of the Milian. This is totally different to the above track, coming on a very uptempo and futuristic tip. I like this one a lot more, as it’s much closer to R&B than pop and I like her vocals on this. Good effort.

Jagged Edge-You Should Be My Lady
-Another top, top track from these boys. I’m not totally sure that this is their song as there’s a rapper on the verses but he wasn’t credited when I was given this so whatever. Either way, JE do a great job on the hook and the beat is pretty nice.

I-15-How I Do
-I like this a lot. Funny that they’re following JE, as they’ve got the potential to be a really good R&B group. They all seem to possess good vocals, and I love this sort of airy production more than I love sleeping. Very strong effort, and I’m really looking forward to their future work.

-Another oldie, but this is from around 2008, so it’s new era Rihanna. This has a pretty disco sound to it, and whilst it isn’t really my thing, a lot of people will like this for sure. If you’re after something a bit poppy and light on the ears, you’ll like this.

Ne-Yo-Yo New Man
-Another non-female track from Ne-Yo? Is it Christmas already? This one is very different to regular Ne-Yo though: he’s angry, violent and straight up looking for a fight-I like it. I love the lyrics of this chorus as not only are they hilarious, they’re delivered to great effect. Nice job angry Ne-Yo.

Justin Bieber-Pick Me
-Closing things off with Usher’s teenage protege. The lyrics are pretty schoolkid cute, but you can’t really expect someone his age to be singing about sex, marriage, drugs and zimmer frames. A pretty likeable track though, as he’s got a good voice, the beat is decent and the chorus is good.

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