R&B Fridays: Episode 107


Pretty much a two-artist episode this week, with 50% of the episode made up of new Chris Brown material, and the other half being remixes of/involving The Weeknd. Two different ends of the R&B spectrum for sure, and hopefully that should keep you all rather satisfied.

Recap from the week’s posts: one of soul’s shining lights, Jesse Boykins III, dropped off a new EP, Drake released an official video for his much-loved (and remixed) Marvin’s Room, and finally Patrick Stump grabbed Lupe Fiasco for his next single from his debut album.

Click below for this week’s arts and crafts.

Chris Brown-Marvin’s Room Remix ft. Kevin McCall and Seven
-Given the above mention of the Drake track, it seems appropriate to open with this. It’s very interesting this, if only for serving to remind us that Chris Brown and Drake have a ‘mutual friend’ in Rihanna. It’s probably a stretch to suggest this is in any way targeted at Drake (I don’t recall there being any issues between them), but the reverse perspective Chris goes with lyrically undoubtedly puts the thought in your head, albeit briefly. Solid remix either way, particularly Seven’s rather soulful contribution at the end.

The Weeknd-The Morning (Dolor Remix)
-Went on a little hunt last week for a few good remixes, and stumbled across a couple of solid fan-made reworks of The Weeknd’s material, with this being a particular highlight. This one throws a thick bass and hints of sharp synth into the mix, adding a more electronic style that has similarities to the high points on The Weeknd’s High For This. Solid remix, and works surprisingly well with the vocals given the stripped-back production they were originally laid on.

Chris Brown-I’ll Be Right Here
-Something surprisingly traditional from Chris, with an early 00′s R&B/pop vibe emanating from this one. Backed by a fairly simple production, the piano melody and light percussion combine nicely to blend a slow jam vibe with an R&B sensibility, giving Chris a platform to project his vocals more than he usually gets too and he delivers with a passionate performance. Lyrically, it’s nothing new but certainly the right sort of subject matter for this production, and digestable enough for his fans to enjoy.

The Weeknd-Coming Down (Sango Remix)
-Whereas the above remix switched the vibe of the track considerably, this remix opts to stick with the atmospheric vibe of the original, opting to merely tweak the original as opposed to refurbishing the production. It’s enjoyable too, adding in a couple of fitting samples and percussive upgrades that refresh the original and add a little energy without sacrificing the original’s ambience.

Chris Brown-Bad ft. Soulja Boy
-At the start of this track during Soulja’s intro, I said to myself ‘if this track ends up having a massive drop after this, I might give it a chance’. Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite happen, but things do certainly pick up for Chris’ verse as the aforementioned switch-up does happen, giving the track a bit of listenability. Take Soulja Boy out of the equation, and you’ve got a decent, crunk-inspired speaker rattler here.

Drake-Trust Issues (Gizzle Mashup) ft. The Weeknd
-A fair few people I spoke to wanted this, and Gizzle (me neither) duly delivers with a really enjoyable mashup. The key to this is that he doesn’t simply sequence the verses, but actually layers the vocals on top of one another at various points, as well as exchanging lines inside the verses and chorus themselves. There’s something to be said for that sort of accuracy and detail, making this a marvellous remix that will be replacing both individual versions (here for Drake’s, here for The Weeknd’s) in my playlists.

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