R&B Fridays: Episode 120


A longer episode this week, with plenty of R&B’s luminaries making appearances this week, including Frank Ocean, Ne-Yo and Trey Songz, alongside a track from the latest group emerging from the Odd Future collective.

Nothing to recap on from the week gone by, so go ahead and treat yourself by clicking below and gorging yourself on the treats within.


Robin Thicke-Love After War
-Opening with some textbook Robin Thicke that’ll be a real treat to your ears. Smoothed out vocals from Robin are strong throughout as he moves between his whispery style on the hook to a more passionate delivery in the verse, whilst he’s accompanied by a relaxing yet bouncy production that boasts soft key melodies and synths alongside a head-nodding production with a real classic style. Very good all-rounder.

Ne-Yo-Make Up To Break Up
-Slower track from Ne-Yo with a very strong Michael Jackson influence on the vocals throughout, almost to the point where you could believe that this was a demo for him. A simple, ambient production does a decent job of providing Ne-Yo with a platform to really project his vocals, and the result is a pop/R&B hybrid that will appeal to the younger audience.

Frank Ocean-Best Seller
-Solid track with a range of influences. The verses have a rather British pop sound, with a jaunty piano melody alongside a relatively muted percussion, whilst the verses have a much more US R&B/pop sound and a distinctly James Fauntleroy sound. The vocals are OK throughout, but it’s probably not one of Frank’s best tracks, though it’s still certainly decent material.

Emanny-I Messed Up ft. Joe Budden
-One of Emanny’s best tracks to date. Atmospheric production gives the track a dark, cold night feel which Emanny utilises well with some elongated, drifty vocals that aren’t lacking emotion, offering a good all-round performance from the upcomer. There’s a 2009 Trey Songz vibe about the track in certain sections (particularly songs such as Does She Know), which is certainly a good thing and makes this worth a grab.

Trey Songz-Whoever Else
-It’s just a shame that the man himself seems so reluctant to return to the aforementioned style. Another track with him rapping (and one expected to make his upcoming #lemmeholdatbeat 2 mixtape), it’s not something I’ve really paid attention to. I’m sure he’s got some skills as a rapper, but when he’s so incredibly talented at making good R&B, it seems like a waste of his talents here. Still, I’m sure this will find a place in many mainstream fans’ libraries.

Cassie-Make You A Believer ft. Jadakiss
-A twsiting, bassy melody will ensnare you right from the off here, as Cassie goes for a pop/dance/R&B hybrid that has little sprinklings from each genre, without veering too heavily into any of them. She’s never been the greatest vocalist, but there’s certainly a naturally chilled out feel to her vocals and it contrasts well enough with the thick production. Solid material, and might be a comeback hit for her.

The Internet-Love Song -1-2
-The latest project to emerge from the Odd Future clan, this one combines the talents of their only female member, Syd Tha Kid, with the superb production ability of Matt Martian of The Jet Age of Tomorrow. This is a laidback, extremely soulful slice of music that many artists would be proud of, and genuinely has a Sade-esque feel to it, with an ambient production combining strongly with relaxing vocals from Syd. Only a short one sadly, but hopefully there’s more to come.

Bruno Mars-It Will Rain
-If you’ve heard more than one Bruno Mars song from his debut album, you’ve probably heard this one. I’ve commended the guy on his diversity in the past, but this does feel a little lazy as he goes for the relatively generic, uplifting pop effort here with progressive strings, reaching vocals and a hook full of easy imagery. Not meant to sound as scathing as it does, but a man of his vocal ability and diverse tastes can do more than this faux-Leona Lewis style.

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