R&B Fridays: Episode 69

Hopefully, this reaches you on time this week!

New singles from Keri and Rihanna headline this episode, along with plenty of other tracks from a range of talented artists. Before that, the customary recap: a great track from UK newcomer Talay Riley, Drake’s lead track from his upcoming mixtape, plenty of R&B-related artwork, and finally the official video for Keri Hilson’s Breaking Point.

Click on to get involved in this week’s episode.

Johnta Austin-Right There ft. Jermaine Dupri
-From his upcoming LSR mixtape (which I assume is related to the Love, Sex, Religion album), this is one track the longtime Johnta fans will enjoy. His characteristically smooth vocals are paired nicely with a lively, midtempo beat that gives this song a very complete feel.

Nelly-Move That Body ft. T-Pain and Akon
-The latest single from Nelly 5.0, this is about as far from my thing as it gets. Considering the features and name of the track, you’d expect a big, head-banging production but instead we’re ‘treated’ to a barely-there beat which is predominantly comprised of finger clicks. Disappointing.

Christian Rich-Say My Name ft. Colin Munroe
-I was supposed to include this last week, but in the mess of laptop failure it got lost in the shuffle. It’s a shame too as this is a pretty good track, with a combination of soft melodies overlaying the uptempo percussion, creating a really addicting and mesmerising production. The vocals are up to scratch too, with Christian using a touch of Autotune quite well.

Ciara-Deuces Remix
-Ciara grabs the Deuces instrumental and adds her own spin, which is surprisingly good. Always good to hear different spins on a track, especially from a different gender. A little short, but a welcome refresh to the beat.

Cheyenne Tozzi-Take It Slow ft. Ryan Leslie
-First thing that will catch your ear is the production: R-Les has served up a really old-school pop-R&B vibe with this production, whilst retaining those catchy little additions that R-Les tends to throw onto beats. Decent verse from Leslie too, and relaxing vocals throughout from Cheyenne. One the pop fans will enjoy.

Nelly Furtado-The Night Is Young
-A track purely aimed at the clubs, and one that could quite easily be a hit on the charts. Full of the dance influence that seems to be sweeping pop music these days, it also boasts a pretty big hook that sets it in good stead for the mainstream audience.

Frankie J-I Need You
-Another one with some dance influence, though seems to have much more bounce than the above track, which is likely to be a result of the sharper synths and melodies throughout the song. If this was a bigger artist, this would undoubtedly be an enormous hit with radio/chart fans, but will probably be overlooked.

Rihanna-Who’s That Chick
-A new single, but not actually set to be on her upcoming Loud album-it’s actually exclusively for a Doritos ad. Interesting. Produced by David Guetta, this beat is pretty much purely electro and is actually a really good production, and certainly one of Guetta’s better ones in recent times. I’m not sure about Rihanna on Autotune though, it doesn’t seem to suit her voice.

Ginuwine-What Could’ve Been
-Some slowed down, smoothed out and lyrical soul/R&B for the old-school heads. This is what slow jams should be sounding like, as Ginuwine comes through with some great vocals over a very simple beat that serves its purpose in projecting Ginuwine’s voice. Good stuff.

Josh Xantus-I Don’t Care ft. Ghostface Killah
-Another week, another unexpected feature! Wu-Tang’s Ghostface comes through with two verses reminiscent of his Back Like That days. Xantus is not to be sniffed at either though, with some passionate vocals throughout and good lyrical content. To cap it all off, its a Statik Selektah production-any hip-hop fans reading this will definitely be snatching this one up!

Jackie Boyz-Any Questions
-Been a while since we’ve heard from these boys. They return with a huge party anthem, that seems to be a demo for a female artist judging by the lyrics. I’d be surprised if any artist could outdo these guys on this though, as the natural energy of their voices fuses with the speedy production superbly to create a great all-rounder.

Ne-Yo-So Much Better
-A top example of great songwriting, with Ne-Yo creating some interesting mental imagery with this uptempo, defiant effort. Another demo from the sounds of it, with a dancehall-influenced production that adds a nice summer vibe to this one. Rihanna would be ideal for this track.

El DeBarge-5 Seconds ft. Fabolous
-Veteran of the pop-soul game El DeBarge returns with this effort. A couple of good verses again from Loso, who seems to be getting his name on a lot more features again after going quiet for a while. An old-school pop vibe coarses through this one, with DeBarge’s trademark vocals remaining as sharp as ever.

Rye Rye-Sunshine ft. M.I.A.
-Not strictly R&B, but this has a crossover pop/hip-hop/electro sound that should appeal to you readers. The catchy and memorable hook from M.I.A. will be stuck in your head for days, and Rye Rye’s raps are accessible enough to the mainstream. Interesting sound though, this/Rye Rye could end up being quite a big deal.

Keri Hilson-Pretty Girl Rock
-The next single from No Boys Allowed, this is another really catchy track that oozes confidence. Much like Breaking Point, this is another rousing effort for the female gender, with touches of arrogance and a feel-good factor that is accentuated by a playful and perky production. Girl power and all that.

Johnta Austin-When 2 R In Love
-Another one from the LSR mixtape, this is very much a slow jam from top to bottom. Those smooth vocals are put to good use in this relaxing, mellowed affair and the production winds and drives along without interfering in Johnta’s singing. Good slow jam, and a smooth way to cap off the episode.

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