Quick! Stop reading this!
(One to catch up on: newcomer Jade Alston’s excellent Searching)
Go go go.
Christian Rich-Come and Love Me ft. Pharrell
-At one point a few years back, these guys looked destined to break out into the mainstream. Seemingly, that push has since cooled but they’re back with some new material that boasts a much heavier dance influence than their previous work. There’s a real summer club vibe about this one, with a head-nodding production that remains relatively light and doesn’t swamp you with synths, often making for a much more enjoyable dance/house/pop effort in this case. Solid dancefloor filler for sure, and the breakout could be back on with this.
-New or old? Never easy to tell with this guy, given his unique style and consistency of qualty, but I’d hazard a guess that this was one from the vaults. The production has a real range of influences, with a paint-by-numbers R&B production supplemented by some bassy, dubstep-influenced synths that really liven up the hook, and pull the production away from being a basic R&B number. Frank’s vocals are as unexplainably captivating as ever, whilst the songwriting is often clever as he sticks to the maths thematic well. Another decent effort.
Colin Munroe-Invincible ft. RZA & Memoryhouse
-The ‘unsung hero’ continues his comeback with a big RZA co-sign here. Those pop/alternative boundaries are crossed once more with an edgy production that often threatens to burst your headphones with anger at various points in the verses, before climaxing with a relatively soft, key driven hook that nullifies that sting quite cleverly. RZA doesn’t contribute vocally, but his fingerprints are certainly on this gritty, unique production and it’s a good one from Colin that will hopefully garner some buzz for him.
Chris Brown-Till I Die ft. Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa
-I’m surprised this is being classed as a CB song, given that Sean essentially dominates this track. He’s on hook duty and brings the best verse of the track, synergising superbly with this smoothed-out instrumental, with Wiz’s laidback style being a close second. This isn’t meant to be a criticism of Brown at all, but you’d be hard pressed to recognise that this is his song, though regardless of ownership it’s a chilled out effort that will fill out a playlist well enough.
-I’ve gained some appreciation for the MMG crooner in recent months, and he sets up his new Sky Miles project with this sultry slow jam. An increasingly rare thing nowadays, Miles delivers what is essentially a textbook slow jam: soft, unobtrusive production, lengthened, seductive vocals and simple lyricism combine for a strong demonstration of Masspike’s ability as an upcomer in the R&B scene. One for those bedroom playlist, no doubt.