Craig David- One More Time
I’m really happy to see Craig David back and being appreciated once again. He has been building up his hype within the last year on some great features such as When The Baseline Drops. ‘One More Time’ is his first solo record in a couple of years and it combines his trademark garage sound with an up-tempo dance beat that doesn’t let up. Craig sings to his girl asking for one more chance at love as he can’t be without her. My favourite parts of the record are when the beat drops out and you hear his signature R&B vocals doing their thing. It’s a track that doesn’t necessarily add anything new but it has a sharp spitfire flow and a catchy chorus that I can imagine being played a lot this summer.
It took me a bit of time to get into Nao’s light sugary vocal but boy when I did I became such a fan. This girl has got soul and it’s all over ‘Girlfriend’ with its warped steady beat as NAO smoothly questions a man, if he would love her imperfections (“Could you like someone that’s hoping that they crawl out of their own skin for a time?”) and if they could be together so they can “fly”. She slightly interpolates one of my favourite Prince songs ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’ and then lets rip over an electric guitar with that stadium soaring chorus which takes the song from an intimate groove to atmospheric heights. It’s a thrilling track and evidence that the soul and edge in R&B is right here in NAO.
Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For
I remember before this dropped I was interested to see what next this duo would conjure up as they have made some bangers in the past. However, hearing Rihanna essentially go on autopilot and give a ‘will this do’ vocal is disappointing. It’s a very predictable production from Calvin Harris, with its handclaps, beat drop and house breakdown, it’s a bit been there done that. With Rihanna’s ANTI positioning her in a lane where she went against the trend and just made music she connected to, this new release is a bit confusing. I guess from a money standpoint with its club ready beat it would be played everywhere but from an artistic standpoint if she’s intent on carving her own niche, Rihanna doesn’t need to be doing these type of songs anymore.
I found Seramic on a list of one to watch this year and decided to take a listen to ‘Found’ and I’m glad I did. This track begins hauntingly with Seramic’s gritty raw vocal almost acoustically so when the song propels into its mind-blowing chorus and he sings “Now that you found me there’s nothing left to find” it’s an exhilarating moment. I love hearing electric guitars with an R&B beat and this helps to create such a freeing sound on this track. The song is such a vibe, it has a real gospel undertone to it and even features a chanting choir that really makes this such a powerful listen. ‘Found’ is an example that boxing music into one genre is boring and really doesn’t tell you what a song is about, the mashup of electronic, soul and gospel here is exciting and gives you such a feeling, which music is all about for me.
YG- Why You Always Hatin? Feat. Drake & Kamaiyah
Lately I’ve been really into tracks like this with hard beats and mad bragging, I’m not sure if I imagine myself moonlighting as a rapper in my head but that’s another story. The beat is hypnotic and undeniably a ‘Mustard on the beat, ho’ joint. This makes the song slightly unoriginal but it still knocks especially when the Kamaiyah assisted hook comes in and asks “Please tell me why you always hatin?” Boasting about their accomplishments YG (“Just copped the Benzo with the tint, you should know cause in every song I said this shit”) and Drizzy (“Man I did it with my own sound and I got my own city that I hold down”) pair up delivering confident bars that get you hyped about living life and smiling at your haters pressed on the sideline.