R&B Fridays: Episode 114

Undoubtedly, the highlight of this week’s R&B content has already been delivered, with the hugely-anticipated release of The Weeknd’s second project, Thursday. There’s also new music from upcoming UK singer Chrome, dropping off an energetic single for his latest video.

Very diverse episode this week, with some mainstream pop, old-school style soul and the usual R&B fare all made available for your listening pleasure, and plenty of big names providing that content. Click below to fill yourself with R&B nourishment.

Trey Songz-She Will Remix ft. Drake
-Trey jumps on the fantastic instrumental from Lil’ Wayne and Drake’s latest single, and does a very good job of stamping his authority on the production. It’s unquestionably a beat that will suit almost any artist, and even though Trey sticks to mostly rapping, it’s a rare occasion where his raps work very well and are probably a better fit than his singing style would be. He’s left the Drake hook in too, which is a clever move given its catchy qualities, and this is generally a very enjoyable remix.

Mayer Hawthorne-A Long Time (Chromeo Remix)
-Mayer’s old-school soul sensibility is blended with the disco stylings of Chromeo for a retro track with an addictive bounciness. The enjoyavle vocals from the original single are left intact, and Chromeo lace them with synth-heavy, funk-driven melodies that inject energy and verve into those vocals, giving it a real throwback vibe and potentially a mainstream accessibility. Worth a listen for a feelgood summer track.

Bobby Valentino-So Bad ft. Beenie Man
-Right from the off, Bobby throws those reaching, emotional vocals into the mix, and is soon met with a reggae-inspired production that contrasts nicely with his vocals by adding a laidback, smoothed-out feel. The production is relatively minimal, but the fusion of airy synths with sharp percussion makes for easy listening, and both Bobby and Beenie take to the production with considerable ease. Enjoyable chillout track, and certainly one for the car on a summer day.

Dev-In The Dark Remix ft. 50 Cent
-Rising pop star Dev recruits 50 for her latest single, and coming off the back of having his latest single produced by Dev’s running mates The Cataracs (who also produced this), it further suggests 50′s shift in direction to this dance-heavy style may be more than fleeting. Either way, he fits fairly well on this pop-dance effort, with lots of energy throughout making this an undoubted club anthem for the next few months. Not usually my type of music, but I’ve no qualms about admitting Dev is a lot more tolerable than many of her pop peers right now, and this is bearable as far as this sort of music goes.

Eric Roberson-Picture Perfect ft. Phonte
-A brilliant combination of sounds here, as veteran R&B/soul head Eric Roberson hooks up with Phonte for a track that sounds right out of The Foreign Exchange (one of Phonte’s many projects, for those unaware) playbook, blending together an ethereal production with soulful vocals for a great track. The production has that intangible TFE quality, fusing together a solemn atmosphere with light electronic elements, and all held together with an alternative soul sensibility, making for an engaging backdrop to work alongside smooth vocals from Eric, and a decent verse from Phonte. Great track.

Ne-Yo-She Uses Me
-There’s a section of the title I’ve deliberately missed off here, as it’s probably not appropriate for younger readers. Only click the link if you’ve had ‘the chat’ with your parents, alright? I don’t want hordes of angry parents and confused teenagers at my door (again). A remix of Kelly Rowland’s Motivation, Ne-Yo pretty much harmonises about a lady of his attentions enjoying some self-satisfaction, and he spares no details. Something a bit different and I can’t criticise the vocals, but I seriously doubt you’ll be playing this one too loudly in a public place!

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