Elijah Blake-X.O.X. ft. Common (Video)

The audio’s release caught my attention for the rare Common feature, but one play made it difficult to ignore the talent Elijah possesses. It’s a guest spot that was guaranteed to turn heads, but unlike many others, he does a great job in keeping up his end of the deal.

The production is a smooth blend between upbeat R&B and a more mellow soul style, with the middle ground it lands in being incredibly rare in terms of sheer versatility. The combination of sharp string plucks and bassy yet warm percussion sets those verses off at a good pace, whilst the introduction of more dramatic string work in the chorus adds a welcome step up in intensity and atmosphere to pad that hook out. Elijah’s vocals are unerringly consistent throughout, with his empassioned deliveries displaying influences from early Trey Songz, a little Maxwell and plenty more; he’s clearly a gifted upcomer, and it’s a performance that will surely gain favour with many.

The key feature of the video is the mixture of dark lighting and misty scenes, presenting a reflective, sombre tone that projects the lyricism outward; it’s smart, as in amongst the strong production and good vocals, the lyrical impact gets lost. A strong single for one of R&B’s newest stars-add this to other young upcomers such as Austin Paul and Steven A. Clark, and there’s every chance that this new breed could lift R&B out of its current malaise. Grab the track on the Bijoux 22 EP now.

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