R&B Fridays: Episode 44

Another regularly-sized episode, which pleases me greatly. Good R&B (and some non R&B…) in here as ever, with plenty of big names sitting alongside some of our favourite newcomers such as Brutha and Bruno Mars. Click on for your weekly R&B allowance.

Johnta Austin-Forever
-A ballad-esque slow jam from Johnta, and a little different to his usual laidback style. Johnta comes on his more emotional tip, and as with every different angle he tries, he succeeds.

Raheem DeVaughn-I’m Ill (Remix)
-The soulful singer takes on one of the harder hip-hop beats in the game: fair enough! This is pretty Trey Songz-esque stuff, with the hip-hop/R&B hybrid going on and it’s pretty good stuff. Difficult beat to impress on, and Raheem does his thing.

London-Let Me
-Now this is a nice surprise. London doesn’t seem to drop much material, but this is up there with the best he has dropped. Really smooth, chilled out verses are complimented nicely by some strong work on the hook. Decent one all-round, and should put a few singers on alert for this up-and-comer.

K’naan-Wavin’ Flag ft. will.i.am and David Guetta
-Is this R&B? Probably not, but it’s a mix of almost everything so I’m putting it here. As you well know, there have been about 50 versions of this awesome K’naan track, but I’m told this one will be properly pushed as a single over here in Europe. Some slight changes in the lyrics, a small addition to the production and some guest vocals from will.i.am. Doesn’t veer too far from the incredibly uplifting original, so it works for me.

Drake-Over Remix ft. Brutha
-The best upcoming R&B band right now deliver a nice remix to Drake’s Over. As above with the Raheem remix, fans of the many Trey Songz remixes will enjoy this one as it’s got that nice hybrid feel about it, although this one is definitely more on the R&B side. Keeps a couple of the Drake verses intact, hence I’m crediting it to Drizzy.

Bruno Mars-Move On
-Week by week, Bruno slows down the tempo. This one takes out the dance element his recent stuff has had, and is a much more pop-driven effort. It’s another good one from Bruno, with some nice lyricism complimented well by a simple production.

Shawnna-Hide and Seek ft. Twista and One Chance
-Nicely blended, soft production with some good vocals from One Chance on the hook. Twista brings that usual breakneck delivery, and whilst I’ve never been a Shawnna fan as a rapper, her singing on the hook is OK. Can see this being a hit.

Jason Derulo-Heartbeat ft. Wiz Khalifa
-Derulo gets angry! I like this. The beat is a pretty chilling one, and has some atmosphere about it. Derulo is only on the hook, and hence I’m sure it isn’t his track, but I’m almost 100% this isn’t Wiz either as it doesn’t sound like him. However, it was given to me like this and is a good track so I’ll leave it as it is.

Emanny-Time Is Up ft. Jadakiss
-Smooth as anything. This beat is nice and mellow, Jada opens the track well, and Emanny brings some good soulful vocals throughout. Nice to see this side of the soulful stuff, with a bit of bounce about it. Really good stuff.

Detail-Tattoo Foreva Ft. T-Wayne & Travie McCoy
-For those not in the know, T-Wayne is the official name of T-Pain and Lil’ Wayne as a duo. This track isn’t too bad, though unsurprisingly Travie’s verse is the highlight. This beat is perfectly suited to his voice/flow/style, and he definitely does a good job. The hook is a mixture of catchy and strange, and T-Wayne do their thing.

Ne-Yo-She’s Right Here ft. Brandy
-This has that classic Ne-Yo sound all over it. Guitar-laced production, smoothed out claps and drums, and good vocals. Brandy does a good job on this too, and it’s a pretty likeable all-rounder.

Olivia-Control ft. Drake
-When did Olivia come back? Anyways, this is a pretty decent track with a nice uptempo vibe. Drake’s verse has some pretty good flows to open the track up, and Olivia mixes it up with some rapping and singing throughout. Could have some mileage in this one.

The-Dream-Love Again ft. T.I.
-This is being credited in many circles as a T.I. track, but I have it on good authority that this will end up on Love King. I like this one, and can’t pick any obvious flaws. The beat is pretty different and works really well for the track, whilst the hook is catchy and memorable. Verses from both are good, and this will certainly create some buzz for them both.

Karina Pasian-I Can Do Better
-For someone with so much talent, we don’t hear from this one enough. Immediately, the production will grab you in with a good mix of solid drums and drifty melodies. The verses mix into a big, loud hook really well and this is without question one of her stronger efforts.

Ciara-Ride ft. Ludacris (21/4-updated with final version)
-Closing it off with the official single from Ciara’s upcoming album. Has that Tricky Stewart/The-Dream sound all over it, and it works pretty well for her. It’s a slowish track, which still has an air of a club track about it, and hitting that mix is always a good thing. Everyone knows Luda’s credentials, needs no hype from me for the verse.

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