R&B Fridays: Episode 40

40 episodes. Wow.

Click on for a 21-track barrage of music, including new music from Lloyd, Jagged Edge, Cheryl Cole and a stunner from R. Kelly. Before you do all that, make sure you check out the R&B Throwback I dropped earlier this week from Sterling Simms. Done that? Good.

FYI, Megan Fox has absolutely nothing to do with this episode. She just came for the 40th episode celebrations.

Jennifer Lopez-Story Of My Life
-Decent effort from J-Lo. Pretty similar to her recent leaks, bordering more on the pop side of things, but still decent nonetheless. Enjoying this beat quite a lot.

Rihanna-Rude Boy (Ted Smooth Remix)
-You know by now that Ted drops some of the hottest remixes. This one takes the Rude Boy production in a completely different direction, and I’m still deciding whether I like it or not. The original version is pretty reliant on a big, brash production and I’m not yet sure if taking that out was the right direction.

Johnta Austin-Love of a Lifetime
-Johnta delivers a slow jam for everyone to enjoy. The hook needs a little more for me, but the verses are really good and the production is perfect for a slow jam of this sort.

-Younger fans will know Babyface from Lil’ Wayne’s Comfortable. He’s actually been around for many, many years and usually makes demo/reference tracks. This could be one of those, and it’s very good. Upbeat StarGate production, and some nice vocals laid down by Face make this a nice all-rounder.

Ayah-He Don’t Want It
-Good R&B/soul hybrid track from this Canadian upcomer. Both the beat and the vocals have strong elements of both genres, and it’s a pretty nice crossover track that will have a wide appeal. Produced by Jazzy Jeff too, so comes with credentials.

Jagged Edge-Lay You Down
-Chilled vibes from JE, with a smooth beat and some drifty vocals from this classic group. Nice hook on this one, and good switch in vocals/beat for the verses. I’ve really enjoyed the recent stuff they’ve put out, and this one is no exception. Each track gives me more hope for the upcoming album.

Cheryl Cole-Just Let Me Go
-Believe me, this surprised me as much as it does you. Must be an unreleased cut from her album, and it’s alright. Nothing too special, but absolutely worth checking out for fans of her stuff/pop music. It’s got a strong dance influence, and is generally pretty inoffensive. Haven’t heard the album yet, but I’m surprised this wasn’t on it.

Theory-Crush ft. Red Cafe
-This is one of those songs that I don’t really enjoy, but will inexplicably become really massive. The beat is really minimal, and the lyrics/vocals are pretty standard as far as R&B goes, but tracks like this always do really well. Golden rule: if I’m not a big fan, it’s probably going to be massive.

Sean Garrett-Girls On Girls ft. Lil’ Wayne
-Same goes for this one. This one however hurts me a little, because Garrett is wasting his talent doing this stuff. I moan on about this, but his debut album was just so good and so many miles away from this sort of stuff.

Lloyd-Set Me Free ft. Mystikal
-Phew. A man who can use his talents. Although this is also a departure from what Lloyd usually delivers, it’s very good and it’s refreshing to hear him on these uptempo-style joints now and again. This beat’s pretty nice, and Lloyd delivers as usual. This is a possible single from his album due later this year and features prison’s latest rap release, Mystikal.

Pitbull-Alright ft. Machel Montano
-You know this is going to be a party in your pants/ears. Pitbull gets his carnival hat on, and delivers a bouncy uptempo track with Machel. Pitbull fans will definitely love this, and it’s not too bad as far as club tracks go.

Raheem DeVaughn-Toes Curl
-Bonus track from his recent album. Baby-making music as the title suggests, and very good quality music at that. I was never really into his stuff prior to his recent stuff, but he’s really cementing himself as one of the finer singers around and has more than a hint of Maxwell about him. A high, high compliment.

R. Kelly-Speakin My Language
-This is one hell of a track. The beat has an 808s and Heartbreak feel, but the vocals and lyrics are pure classic Kelly. I’ve been playing this non-stop all week, and you have to play it in a decent system/headphones to really enjoy it. It’s ever so simple, but that’s probably the beauty of it. Absolutely must-have if you want some great R&B.

Keyshia Cole-Got To Get My Heart Back ft. Young Jeezy
-Another R&B/soul hybrid, and another really likeable one. I like this raw production, and Jeezy’s verse is a really good one. Keyshia’s one of the most talented ladies in the business, and this is definitely an all-rounder that should sit well with most.

Mishon-I Don’t Care ft. Sean Garrett
-See, this I don’t mind. If you’re going to make pop-R&B Sean, at least pick a good beat like this one! Uptempo, club, whatever you call it this beat is nice. Mishon and Garrett take it on well enough, and this is a good effort.

Mario-Just For You
-There was a time when I just didn’t dig this guy. That time is officially gone. Every single one of his recent drops has been good, and this one comes on a totally different tip. Mario gets his soul game on, and does a really good job. This could slide quite comfortably on a Maxwell or Dwele album, and it’s a nicely rounded smooth jam.

Jay Sean-Ghost
-Far too much AutoTune. The beat is good, but there’s literally no need for the AutoTune as he could do this without it and make it a really good track. Evidence? The very good, AutoTune-minimised/free hook.

Madonna-Devil Wouldn’t Recognise You Remix ft. Trey Songz
-What!? WHAT?! I did not expect this. I’m not really sure whether this is legit or not though. The original track Devil Wouldn’t Recognise You (which has absolutely superb production by the way) is from her recent Hard Candy album. However, this has some Trey vocals mixed in, so it’s either the work of a bored DJ or an official upcoming remix. Either way, I’d recommend it.

Lloyd-Bad Girl (Freaky Girl) ft. Twista
-Another one more on the uptempo side of things, and another decent one. I could swear this beat samples Every Girl, but it’s not too bad and Twista comes through with a decent verse.

Johnta Austin-Shame
-This man’s forte is songwriting, and you’d be hard pressed to deny him on this one. Definitely one for the lyricists, although the beat/vocals are both good too. The lyrics definitely stand out though, and you’ve gotta respect this man’s talent.

Bobby Valentino-Curious
-Valentino is another one who’s coming back with some top quality tracks. Once again he delivers, with a dope beat in tow. Good vocals, good lyrics and a very good beat makes for some good R&B to close off this episode.

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