R&B Fridays: Episode 103

Better late than never eh? There are genuine reasons, but forget all of that rubbish: it’s here now, and that’s what counts.

No recap this week, so there’ll be none of your time wasted up here, and instead you can get to clicking below and grabbing new music from Akon, Lloyd and more.

To quote the mighty Brick Tamland, ‘OK, let’s go!’.

The-Dream-1+1 (Beyonce Demo)
-Beyonce fans will recognise this as a track she’s performed a few times live recently, as well as actually being released (or leaked…) in the last few weeks. It was helmed by The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, hence this demo has surfaced, with solid work from Dream on the reference vocals. I don’t really like the Beyonce version, but this is far more agreeable and Dream seems to go with the vibe of the retro-inspired production a little better.

Rock City-Regular Love Song
-It’s so difficult to pick the direction these guys are heading in: one minute its energetic hip-hop tracks, and the next its slower, more emotional R&B tracks such as this one. Very catchy vocals from these guys, with a hugely memorable hook anchoring this song well, and a soft, guitar-laced production providing decent backup. Will go down spectacularly well with younger/more mainstream listeners.

Taio Cruz-Positive
-Strangely, on first hearing this my initial impression was that this should be a Rock City song. The pulsating production feels suited to them, and the vocals (particularly the announciations/accent) sound very similar at times, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find they had a hand in this. A feelgood vibe on this one throughout, with lots of energy in the beat and Taio’s vocals, building to an explosive hook that is a little corny lyrically, but will certainly motivate many.

Soulja Boy-Lady ft. Lloyd
-One reason I’m posting this, and unsurprisingly it’s the Lloyd hook. By far the best part of the song, and though it’s a little disappointing that a section of his hook is Autotuned, the rest of it is enjoyable and works nicely with the production.

Akon-Can You Believe

-Another Autotuned affair, but a little more tolerable knowing it’s not exactly new territory for Akon. Gets a bit too shrill at times, but works to deliver that typically rousing Akon style otherwise that’ll satisfy his fans/the mainstream crowd. Not really for me, largely because it’s pretty hard to tell where the verses end and the hook starts, and I’m pretty sure that’s an arrestable offence.

Tank-I Wish I Was Yours ft. LeToya Luckett
-Smoothed out vibes from this collaboration, with an elegant ambience being the real catch points of this track. Great vocals as usual from Tank, as he switches to his mellow, almost whispery delivery to maximise this minimal yet atmospheric production skillfully. LeToya certainly does her thing on this slow jam too, adopting a similar style though with some higher rises, and hence rounding off this track nicely.

Jamie Foxx-Back It Up ft. Tank
-Produced by Lil’ Jon, I’d be surprised if this wasn’t a few years old as the production does sound somewhat outdated, and also oddly familiar: was this once a Ciara beat? Anyway, club-oriented track as the producer/title would suggest, with a surprising feature from Tank on this sort of track. However, the feature doesn’t quite save it as the beat is just a little too overpowering, and just doesn’t really hold up in 2011.

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