There are some utterly awesome tracks in this episode, and I have no qualms with name-checking the new Janet Jackson track as the definite highlight of this episode. Of course, the rest is very good too, but that track is sweet.
Click on for new music from Ne-Yo, Mario and more.
2 Pistols-Redonkulous ft. Jason Derulo
-The title tells you this isn’t a heart-warming love ballad. It’s pretty brash club music, and a lot of people will like this uptempo joint. The production has some electro elements, and the Derulo hook is catchy.
-Not the Beyonce track, rather a fairly opposite sort of song lyrically. The production is pretty simple, and admittedly a little lacking, but Ne-Yo holds things together with some nice vocal shifts and a memorable hook.
Sean Garrett-Lay U Down ft. Plies
-This is better than some of the recent tripe he’s given us, and sounds closer to the quality his debut album produced. There’s a version of this by Mario floating around, so it’s unclear which version is the demo/final, but it’s a nice slow jam either way. Little too much AutoTune, but it’s OK for the most part.
D’Jackson-In The Music ft. Joe Budden
-Really like this, and not just ‘cos of the Budden feature. The beat is a fresh uptempo one, and newcomer D’Jackson lays some smooth vocals over it. Can’t really complain about anything, and the Joey verse (especially his flow) just seals the deal on this one.
Marques Houston-Kickin’ and Screamin’
-Unusual one this. It’s pretty good, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not sure whether it’s supposed to be a slow jam or a club track as he states at the beginning. For a supposed club track, it has a very ballad-esque melody which confuses me a bit.
Ester Dean-Drop It Low Remix ft. Lil’ Wayne, Diddy, Trey Songz & Chris Brown
-One of the biggest club tracks around right now gets a huge remix. Nothing but massive names on this one, and I’d definitely take this over the original anyday. The beat is perfect for clubs, and having these guys on vocals makes for some decent party music.
Johnta Austin-Born Again
-Johnta’s back, finally. Another typically smooth joint from him, although the drums are a little spiky for the vocals. Doesn’t make too much difference though, as the airy beat covers it nicely and Johnta’s captivating vocals make for easy listening.
3OH!3-Follow Me Down ft. Neon Hitch
-Wasn’t really sure where to put this, so I’ll stick it here. In honesty, it is pretty R&B/poppy so it makes sense. This is from the Alice In Wonderland soundtrack and is really quite decent. I like the beat, and like most 3OH!3 track has a nice jump for the hook which makes it an ideal uptempo joint. This Neon Hitch person has a nice voice too.
Charice-Pyramid ft. Iyaz
-Newcomer Charice grabs the mainstream’s new darling Iyaz for a good track. They work really well together on this, and their voices compliment each other nicely. Charice delivers a big, powerful hook and Iyaz comes in with a nice breakdown. Can’t see much wrong with this, and it could be very big.
-Love this production. It kicks off with a smooth acoustic guitar on melody, and continues it throughout over some soft percussion. Big fan of these productions in R&B tracks, and Mario steps up to the plate and brings a really good vocal performance. Very good chillout track, with some nice lyrics too.
Bobby Valentino-I Can’t Get Enough
-A tagged version of this leaked a while ago, and this is the final. The beat has that classic Valentino sound, with the lengthened melody and handclaps making up the bulk of the production. Good vocals as you’d expect, and a decent effort all-round.
Beyoncé-Baby You’re The Only Man
-Unreleased track, which I’m told is quite old and could be from around the time of her first couple of albums. It shows too, as the track has the sound of her earlier stuff. Not totally my thing, but Beyoncé fans may like this.
-More uptempo effort from Ne-Yo, with an appreciative lyrical message slightly reminiscient of Miss Independent. Doesn’t really have the same sort of production though, but it’s a fairly enjoyable track regardless.
Verse Simmonds-America ft. Pitbull
-Some pretty patriotic tones in this one, but it’s still quite a likeable track. The beat is another nice Darkchild production, and Verse’s vocals make for good listening.
Janet Jackson-Heartbeat Love Ft. Pitbull, Machel Montano & Rock City
-I had to save this for last, just because it’s not fair to anything that follows it. You have to listen to this on decent speakers, computer speakers don’t do it enough justice. Say what you want about Pitbull, but he’s good on these tracks for his energy and catchy vocals. Machel and Rock City have minimal roles, although their adlibs and breakdowns definitely add a lot to the track. The beat is yet another cracking Darkchild production which has some elements of everything, mixing some synths in with tribal-esque drums to create a superb sound. Most importantly is the hook on this track: my word, is this catchy or what?! Brilliantly simple hook, and really well delivered by Janet. This hook makes this track one of the better uptempo tracks this year for sure.