R&B Fridays: Episode 111


Very exciting episode this week, with some of my favourite artists making appearances, as well as a couple of fresh new names. Pretty much strong material all the way through, making this one of the more essential episodes of recent weeks.

Just the two relevant posts to catch up on from the week gone by: Chris Brown teamed up with Game for the latter’s latest video, and Modestep dropped off a monster dubstep/alternative hybrid that’s sure to be a huge hit this summer.

Click below for 21 minutes and 24 seconds of R&B/pop therapy.

Loren Allred-Pot of Gold Remix ft. Ne-Yo
-Taking on Game and Chris Brown single mentioned above are Ne-Yo and his latest signing. The hook is left largely untouched, and Ne-Yo does a superb job in Chris’ place, sounding right at home on the production and coming through with a powerful delivery. Loren brings original work to the verses, delivering steady work that plays it relatively safe, but still works nicely with this production. A nice refresh of the original, and certainly worth listening to for that Ne-Yo hook.

Chris Brown-Open Road (I Think I Love Her)
-A superb track from Chris that had me gripped right from the off. The distinctive, wistful opening melodies are hugely hypnotising, swapping out for strings and keys in the verses and returning in for the hook to great effect. Chris holds up his end of the deal with emotional vocal and lyrical work that have a genuinity about them, a strong achievement indeed. Very good all-rounder, and unquestionably his best material in a while.

Jhene Aiko-Stranger (Remix) ft. Jesse Boykins III
-The original is a great crossover track, and grabbing JBIII for the remix is a spectacularly perfect fit. His smooth tones exhibit great flexibility here, blending seamlessly with the uneasy yet mellow production and enhancing the original, which itself was a great R&B/soul effort. Stunning collaboration from two fantastic upcoming artists. Play this one at night for full effect!

Frank Ocean-Thinking About You
-Always great to get some new Frank Ocean, and this demo track is another great addition to his catalogue. Taking on a slow, ambient production (Drake fans will love this production) made up primarily of a moody synth and light percussion, Frank demonstrates great versatility by delivering sing-rap verses alongside an almost falsetto hook. The latter is hugely addictive, and will certainly be the highlight for many, as Frank takes his voice to heights previously unassociated with his music. Very enjoyable effort.

Bridget Kelly-Thinking About Forever
-I mentioned the above was a demo track, and it has been snapped up by Roc Nation’s Bridget Kelly. For those unfamiliar, she often serves as Jay-Z’s backup singer on tour, filling in regularly for Alicia Keys on Empire State of Mind with strong results, and she now appears ready to breakout with this single. She takes the track on very well, bringing a different vibe to the track with a more energetic delivery in the verses, and a strong performance on the hook. Both good versions, and I’ll leave you to choose which one you prefer.

Pleasure P-Breaker Breaker ft. Sean Garrett
-Two guys who can often frustrate as they don’t use their natural talents properly, but here they almost get it right with a slow jam of decent quality. Good work throughout from P, coming through on a very Bobby Valentino-esque style with the various rises and falls in his vocals, with a solid passion and energy in his voice throughout. Nice reference to the Common track by Garrett on the hook, though the delivery of said hook could be better. Still, decent enough track that the slow jam fans will enjoy.

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