R&B Fridays: Episode 68

I’m sure you can forgive me for this being a couple of days late: having no laptop sort of makes things a little difficult! Hence, I’ll not keep you too long out here in the cold and away from the R&B.

Whilst I’m told the pre-episode recaps are going down well, in the interests of time you can take care of it yourself for this week by clicking the R&B category at the top of this page, which should fill you in appropriately. Click on for this week’s episode.

Ciara-Shut Um Up
-Is this album ever coming out? Countless leaks have surfaced from Ciara in the past 6-8 months, and there’s no real sign of an album. The leaks have been decent too, and this follows the pattern with a catchy club track that will set mainstream fans off.

One Chance-Sexing on You
-As I find myself saying whenever I post one of their tracks, these guys are one of two R&B bands actually making good music these days (the other appearing later in this episode). Groups are a rarity these days in the quest for solo glory, but these guys do the style justice with a smooth slow jam that boasts a solid production and good vocals throughout.

Jeremih-Love All Night
-I’ve been really pleasantly surprised with his recent material, and I’ll actually endeavour to check his newest album out. This is bedroom music of the highest quality, with a minimal production allowing Jeremih to control this track superbly with some surprisingly good vocals. Who needs Autotune?

K. Michelle-Can’t Go On
-Soul vibes in this one, hovering that rarely-visited R&B/Soul line. Addictive vocals are the cornerstone of this track’s appeal, with the vibes of a young Mary J. Blige running through this one. Very easy listening.

Ne-Yo-Making A Movie
-More Ne-Yo, more good stuff. A fairly slow tempo, but with a positive, party-themed edge that makes for a really likeable blend. Probably one of the more ‘fun’ songs I’ve heard Ne-Yo come through with, and it makes for a very welcome dose of variety in both his material and R&B generally.

Johnta Austin-Power Remix
-Yep, Kanye’s Power. My first question: is this REALLY Johnta?! Well, it is as he namechecks himself, but you’ll be shocked as he’s predominantly rapping in this one. He’s actually coming through on a pretty angry tip too, which is completely unlike anything I’ve ever heard him too. One to grab just because it’s so out of the blue!

Brutha-Again and Again
-The other R&B band I have a great deal of time for come through with a fantastic acoustic track that reeled me right in. Nothing conveys the emotion of a song like the raw feel of an acoustic performance, and these boys display their talents with some great vocals, along with a catchy hook and easygoing guitar work. Great track.

Kevin Cossom-Baby I Like It ft. Fabolous and Diddy
-From a slow acoustic track to a club banger! Cossom’s first single from his latest project is ready-made for the mainstream audience with a hypnotising bassline accompanied by the usual party-influenced lyrics. Decent vocals from Kevin, and good contributions from Fab. Diddy doesn’t really do much.

Matisse-Better Than Her ft. Akon
-Another big club anthem here, though this one will find much more favour with pop fans. A big dance-pop production gives this one some huge potential, and Matisse’s fairly simple delivery and catchy hook should ensure it finds favour with the mainstream. Akon’s feature is alright, he adds to the track with decent adlibs and a good breakdown towards the end.

Chris Brown-Yeah 3x
-Indi posted a snippet of this a while back, and the full version is now with us. As he said then, this is fairly generic as its the dance-influenced sound that pretty much everyone is going for, but does have that intangible Chris Brown edge to it that gives it a little bit of seperation. Tons of electro influence on the production, and vocals reminiscent of Forever.

Karina Pasian-Heartbreak Me
-Right, we’ve had 3 club tracks on the trot so let’s take it back to the lyrical R&B. Another good display of songwriting gift from Pasian, and there’s no shortage on the production front either as a rich production provides a capable support for her addictive vocals.

Mario-My Territory
-Slowed down stuff from Mario. Decent too, as the production really adds depth to the track in terms of providing a dark, atmospheric feel to the relaxed vocals Mario delivers. Smooth stuff, and one of those that’s ideal for a winter night.

Lloyd-Let’s Get It In ft. 50 Cent
-50′s been on his R&B feature tip recently, and is doing a rather good job. It’s good to hear him coming with some good flow, and he opens this one up well. Lloyd is obviously the star of the show here, with those trademark drifty, airy vocals on full display here. Nice variety from him too, with a superb hook complimented by some passionate, almost rapped verses. With a production that matches the qualities of Lloyd’s voice, this is certainly one of his strongest tracks to date and will hopefully be a big hit for him.

Jazmine Sullivan-10 Seconds
-Damn! Some gripping listening here, in the form of a scolded, angry Jazmine Sullivan. It’s always good to hear something different as far as subject matter goes, and Sullivan’s raw honesty comes through brilliantly with her grainy vocals and well-written lyrics. A soul production provides suitable backing with strong percussion work to round it off.

One Chance-To The Middle ft. T-Pain
-Remember when T-Pain features were more regular than toilet breaks? Rarely hear from him these days, so it’s nice to hear him on a hook here-there’s no doubting this man’s ability to write/deliver a memorable chorus. One Chance hold up their end of the deal with some upbeat verses that fit around the hook nicely to deliver one of those tracks you’d happily hear in a club, or relax with at home.

Ne-Yo-Crazy Love ft. Fabolous
-Another R&B feature for Loso, and another great verse. The production on this one is really chilled, and gives off a nice mellow vibe. Ne-Yo does his best to keep that vibe going with some good vocals throughout, especially on the hook where the backing vocals also play a key part in keeping things smooth.

Tank-Foreplay ft. Chris Brown
-Closing things out with some superb bedroom music. Tank comes through with some buttery vocals that definitely mark the highlight of this one, though Chris Brown’s additions are not to be sniffed at as he comes with a sharper, more vibrant approach. The slow, flowing production is good too, providing an unobtrusive platform for these guys to work on.

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