R&B Fridays: Episode 36

I got quite lucky with this week’s episode. I’d hoped to throw in a couple of older tracks that I revisited/reloved this week, and thankfully there hasn’t been a huge glut of material released this week to overshadow that. Don’t panic: Naturally, there is still a load of new stuff. I usually try to sneak in some older tracks when I can (dedicated followers will attest to this), I’m just extra keen this week.

New stuff from Jason Derulo, Usher and more after the click. Before you do though, be sure to check out The-Dream’s newest track which was dropped yesterday.

Jason Derulo-Change The World
-This is alright. The beat is good and the lyrics are typically over-emotional (the staple of pop R&B). However, why the hell does he persist with using AutoTune? That sh*t was completely played out about a year ago, and was even getting boring for the mainstream about 3 months ago, especially on slower tracks. Give it up, you can sing man.

J. Holiday-Pretty Body
-Must be a Tricky Stewart/Dream production. It’s decent, and has a really soulful feel to it. It’s a nice contrast to the above track too, as the production is really simple, and has no friggin’ AutoTune.

Day26-Get Away Girl (March 09)
-Alright, so this is the first of the older tracks I mentioned. Some of you will remember Day26 from Diddy’s Making The Band. They got tarred with the ‘typical reality show crap’ brush, and really unfairly as they’re a very talented bunch. This track is one of the best tracks they’ve made, and unbelievably didn’t make the cut for their 2nd album. How they came to that decision I will never know, especially as the album itself was pretty disappointing. The beat is the perfect mix of chilled out and progressive, whilst their vocals (and backing vocals) are perfectly matched to the production.

Kevin Rudolf-Love Letter (Leona Lewis Demo)
-Interesting. Wouldn’t expect Rudolf to be doing Leona demos, but there we are. Can’t complain about the track either, as everything goes pretty well throughout. I don’t know if Leona took this on (anyone who does, congrats) but it seems much more suited to Rudolf’s style for me. Don’t get me wrong, she has a cracking voice, but the hook needs real energy which I’ve never really associated her with.

Trey Songz-Absolute Heat Freestyle
-An unreleased track which has only recently emerged, this has Trey going in over DJ Drama’s Feds Takin’ Pictures. It definitely sounds like early stuff, and doesn’t really have the flow or confidence of his more recent stuff but is still worth checking out if you enjoy Trey on his rapping tip.

Michael Bolton-Murder My Heart ft. Lady GaGa
-I always throw up a surprise don’t I? As my dear mother eloquently put it, ‘I thought he was dead?’. The funny thing is, this is actually alright: No-one ever denied this guy has vocals, and this is a pretty nice beat too. Unless I missed something, GaGa is only on backing vocals/adlibs but still makes a pretty good contribution. Surprisingly, this is really worth checking out.

Johnta Austin-You Are My Rock (Beyonce Demo)

-Good and bad. Good-the track is decent, and I have actually had the Beyonce version for a while. Bad-I forgot to post the B version back in December. Woops. You can grab the Johnta version above, and the Beyonce one here.

Jason Derulo-Love Hangover
-We could probably make an album out of all the leaks he gets caught with. This is a really good track, and much better than the above as the AutoTune is off/to a very minimum level. The beat is very good, and makes a nice tempo shift for the hook. Derulo proves that he can sing for sure, and DOESN’T NEED AUTOTUNE.

Dru Hill-Away
-The comeback continues for Sisqo and his boys. It’s a strong continuation too, with Sisqo taking the lead role as ever and doing a nice job throughout. The verses are written and performed well, with a nice hook tying it all together. Looking like a worthwhile comeback for these chaps.

Day26-Dizzy (March 09)
-The second of the throwback tracks is another Day26 effort, and ridiculously another throwaway track that didn’t make the album. Whoever decided this stuff should be shot, as this is another unbelievable track. It comes on a higher tempo and with a richer production than the above track, sampling an Alice Deejay classic in an understated way. Not sure which of the two Day26 tracks I prefer, as both are absolutely fantastic for me on different levels. Love the hook on this though, bump this loud in your car for maximum effect!

Janelle Monae-Cold War
-Love this track. Janelle brings her vintage soulful sounds to a speedy production, creating a brilliantly melodic uptempo track. Full of energy, this is definitely one of the strongest uptempo tracks I’ve heard lately. If you haven’t checked her stuff out before, do so now. Admittedly, this isn’t R&B but I really don’t care.

Usher-More (Link is Zshare, Mediafire didn’t get along with this track)
-I’m only really putting this up because it’s skyrocked in popularity since he performed it last week at the NBA All-Star game. It leaked back in October, and I just sort of ‘filed it away’ as it wasn’t really to the standard of other Usher leaks at the time (specifically Rockband, which is/was way better). I was probably a little hasty in making that decision, as it is a pretty bouncy energetic joint which isn’t actually expected to be on his upcoming album.

Jason Derulo-What If
-Another Derulo joint! I’m diggin’ the lyrics on this one more so than the other two, although that’s likely to be a consequence of the less intrusive production. It’s good to hear his variety, as the three tracks I’ve dropped this week have all come from pretty different angles. This has some real potential, like Love Hangover, and I’d be surprised if this wasn’t on the album.

Chris Brown-Go Away
-Closing this off with some new Chris Brown. Uptempo with a futuristic production, Brown AutoTunes up but it’s bearable in this case as it fits the theme of the track quite well. Very energetic track, and fans of tracks such as Forever and/or Chase Our Love will like this a lot.

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