I’ll not waste too much time up here, so here’s the catch-up: great video from Jamie Foxx and Drake, a great cover from Ellie Goulding, Tinchy Stryder’s latest single, the newest visuals from Dirty Money’s album, a mixtape of all-new material from Sammie, Chrome’s debut solo single, and a big collaboration from Keri Hilson and J. Cole.
Let’s go. Click below for episode 79.
Omarion-In The Morning Remix ft. J. Cole
-Kicking off with Omarion’s take on J. Cole and Drake’s recent collaboration. It’s not a bad remix at all, with some solid vocals making the most of the contemplative, sombre production and bringing the same kind of vibe to the track that Drake did on the original.
Keyshia Cole-Tired of Doing Me ft. Tank
-Everything Tank touches turns to gold these days. The production is everything you’d normally find in a Tank track with solid piano melodies driving the track forward. The vocals are superb from both artists, as Tank opens the track with a captivating performance, Keyshia follows up with a good contribution of her own, and they come together to duet the final third. Fantastic track, and great signs for Cole’s new album.
Bobby Valentino-Christmas With My Baby
-A surprisingly likeable R&B Christmas jam, Bobby V goes for a slow jam sensibility with this track. Lots of those trademark mellow vocals from Bobby, and accompanied suitably by a very soulful production that makes this a strong R&B effort despite the obvious hindrance of the theme.
Ciara-Listen To My Song
-A bonus track from her upcoming Basic Instinct album, the beat here is most definitely the highlight. Wintery synths are layered up with simple claps and bass thuds to give this a thoughtful, atmospheric vibe, and add a slightly different style to Ciara’s repetoire. Her improved vocals are evident throughout, as she delivers a decent performance.
R. Kelly-When A Woman Loves Remix
-Another bonus track, this time from Kels’ recently-released Love Letter. There’s a festive feel to this track, with a bouncy, upbeat pop-soul production giving this track a singalong feel. Heaps of retro stylings on both the production and the backing vocals, this will slide into a Christmas playlist easily.
Johnta Austin-Our Little Secret
-Where’s that LSR mixtape Johnta? This guy has more shelved projects than skin cells. Annoying too, as his (original) material is better than the majority of R&B artists out there today. This is another example of that, as he delivers another top all-rounder with an addictive hook. The production is much more diverse and packed out than his usual fare, which gives the track a refreshing vibe.
-Autotune. Why? Great beat too, with a high tempo and lashings of dance-influence making this a potentially massive club banger. Kingston is remotely bearable in this too, but the song is really spoiled by the Autotune.
Trey Songz-Skippin’ Work
-Bedroom music from Trey, and a welcome return to form for him. The production is decent enough for a slow jam, being pushed along by low synths and soft bass hits, without interfering with the vocals too much. Probably not album standard, but certainly good material.
J. Holiday-Livin’ In Vain
-I’ve not heard Holiday on this sort of tip before, coming through with a powerful, uplifting effort that really suits him. The production most certainly helps to embellish that approach, with a progressive production that rises in the right places, particularly the middle portion of the track. Holiday’s vocals are, as ever, on top form with a diverse delivery that displays his versatility, whilst the lyrics add a real personal and introspective touch to the track.
Jackie Boyz-Deuces Remix
-Probably good timing for this, as every other artist released their remixes a few months back. It’s nice to have a refresh of top productions, and the Jackie Boyz come through with an OK verse set, although it’s certainly not the strongest remix of the track and they don’t make the most of the beat. Worth a listen if you’re a fan of theirs though.
Rihanna-What’s My Name Remix ft. Jermaine Dupri
-This is surprisingly likeable. Nowhere near enough artists have tackled this beat, which is tailor-made for some good remixes and would suit a ton of today’s upcomers. JD adds a nicely delivered verse to open the track up, and also improves the percussion with some new additions that pack the drumline out, adding a little more energy.
Pleasure P-U Gon’ Let Me (Right Thru Me Remix)
-Remixing Nicki Minaj’s most recent single, this is another one that really should have seized on by more R&B/pop artists. P delivers some good vocals on this one, possibly overkilling it a little at times given the relatively mellow nature of the beat, but it’s always better to go for a more than less. Decent remix.
Bobby Valentino-Hustlin’ ft. Brooke Valentine
-A soul/R&B crossover here, there’s an undoubted retro sensibility in Valentino’s style here, most notably in the verses. The production is also very 90s, with a funk-soul melody (although the quality of the track mutes it a little) making for easy listening. Brooke contributes well to the track, with some decent vocals, particularly on the hook.
-Another one with some quality issues (it sounds like a demo), Akon comes through with respectable lyrics here, going with the ‘make the world a better place’ message. Nice to hear this sort of introspection and thoughtfulness in the songwriting, especially from a mainstream guy like Akon.
Kelly Rowland-Get Back
-Closing things out with some new Rowland, which may or may not be from her delayed 3rd solo album. As you’d expect from Rowland, the vocals are solid throughout and she comes through with a defiant, rebellious message that mirrors some of Keri Hilson’s recent material. Decent songwriting and a playful production make for a solid-all rounder.