It’s been a long, hot Summer, and there were plenty of R&B jams released in July to keep us sweating well into Fall.
Robin Thick, ‘Blurred Lines.’ The album’s title track and first single gave Mr. Thicke his biggest hit to date, and even though he had the song of the Summer, it made him the target of some (deserved?) criticism. Whether you like the video for “Blurred Lines” or not, you have to admit the song is catchy as hell. As is “Take It Easy On Me,” produced by Timbaland and featuring one of his signature beats. If you’ve been been a fan of Robin since he went riding around NYC on a bike looking like white Jesus, this album might be a bit of a turn off. The slick falsetto and piano driven ballads are still there, like the requisite ode to his wife Paula Patton “The Good Life,” but half of the album is very Top 40, which isn’t a bad thing. Listenable and fun, but a departure from his previous work. Give it a spin on iTunes
Ciara, ‘Ciara’ Miss Cici is another artists who has taken a while to really find her niche and come into her own. It wasn’t so much that she had to grow up or change, it’s just that she had to find a way to make us care about what she was doing. ‘Ciara’ isn’t all that different from her previous efforts, but it is helped by production from Future, her boyfriend, on “Body Party” and “Where You Go” and collaborations with Nicki Minaj on”I’m Out.” Her voice is still as thin as she is, but with the lack of vocals comes some pseudo rapping with herself on “Super Turnt Up.” Naming the album after herself is perhaps a sign that she’s finally where she needs to be. It’s certainly not perfect, but it is ambitious and hopefully a step in the right direction for Ciara. Check it out on iTunes.
AlunaGeorge, ‘Body Music’ The title says it all. Try to listen to his and not want to dance. The UK electronic-pop duo of Aluna Francis and George Reid serve up some delicious sounds on their first full length album, helping to usher in a new ear of Brit Pop n’ B. I just coined that term, by the way! Most of Body Music’s best moments come from what we’ve heard already, like “Your Drums, Your Love” and “Just A Touch,” but the albums deeper cuts, like “Superstar” and the title track prove to be repeat worthy. They even manage to work in a cover of Montell Jordan‘s classic 90s hit “This Is How We Do It,” which felt a bit tacked on, so do yourself a favor and spring for the deluxe version which features even more bodyrolling goodness. iTunes
Some other goodies,
Mayer Hawthorne, ‘Where Does This Door Go‘
The Bullitts, ‘They Die By Dawn & Other Short Stories’
What all have YOU been jammin’ to this summer? TELL US!