R&B Fridays: Episode 137

A few more tracks than usual this week, and from an enjoyably-eclectic range of acts, including Raheem DeVaughn, Lloyd, and many more.

Just the two noteworthy posts to recap on, with a free 4-track EP from The Internet, who solidified their place as one of my current favourites in the wider R&B scene (given that R&B doesn’t categorise their music with any great accuracy), and of course the second instalment of our popular 5-track Winter EP.

Click below for another 5 tracks to add to this week’s plentiful bounty.

Cassie-King of Hearts

-We’ve heard/read talk of her ‘European music-inspired’ comeback for many months, and Cassie finally emerges with this lively effort. I must admit, despite her lack of prowess as a singer, I’ve enjoyed her music in patches over the years and here she picks a beat to play to her strengths with an energetic bass tied together with spacey synths that add a laidback element, combining nicely with her whispery vocals. It’s not really anything complicated, but the effectiveness of the mellow-energetic combination works well here, and warrants a couple of listens.

Raheem DeVaughn-Be The One ft. Snoop Dogg

-One from his upcoming Destination Loveland project, and a significantly more textbook R&B effort than the pop-dance above. The production has a lovely jazzy feel, with sharp percussion and boisterous horns complimenting each other well in the hook, whilst the verses have a more smoothed-out, 90s R&B style. Raheem brings his ever-enjoyable vocals to hold everything together, and this is a solid R&B jam that makes for a refreshing slice of regularity.

Estelle-International (Serious) ft. Chris Brown and Trey Songz

-A David Banner production, and you’ll know that right from the off-thumping bass and an intense, urgent vibe that creates a sense of aggressiveness around the track. It’s a beat very tailored to rapping, and when you consider that these three have found popularity by singing, it’s one that’ll irk those of us who wish they’d stick to doing just that and not hanging around in this rap sphere. I’m sure fans of Chris and Trey will grab this anyway, but casual R&B fans need not bother.

Lloyd-Do It Again ft. Nelly

-Interesting one from Lloyd. In support of his UK tour, he’s announced this as his next single over here, and it’s a good track with a unique and recognisable sample-Berlin’s Take My Breath Away (definitely one of the 80′s greatest tracks!). However, I don’t feel the sample is utilised to its maximum effectiveness, and instead feels more like an extra add-on, rather than being the centre point it should be. Equally, the production and vocals surrounding it are light, airy elements that don’t contrast well with the darker, driving sample. A good idea and a solid track, but it could have been a lot better.

Kofi Black-I Love Your Crazy ft. Raekwon

-Much like the Raheem DeVaughn effort above, this has a more standard R&B style, but comes with a much more upbeat vibe. There’s a feelgood nature about everything on this one, from the jovial piano melody to Kofi’s positive vocals, whilst Kofi’s IceH2O labelmate Raekwon even comes through with a warming verse. A simple R&B effort that makes for easy listening.

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