Janelle Monáe is bringing the groove back with this new cut from the long awaited next installment of her Metropolis series.
The Electric Lady teams up with Neo-Soul queen Erykah Badu to deliver an empowering uptempo that will no doubt get you up on off-ah that chair and moving just about everywhere. You know those places you never thought you’d be moving? Yep, even there.
Starting with a deep guitar riff which procedes some glitzy 80s synths and a nice orchestral arrangement, Janelle has managed to do what she does best by providing a great track with various layers. It has that vintage vibe she does so well, but with a crisp modernity to remind us that she’s on the cutting edge of basically everything. Okay, some things.
Add an excellent outro from Erykah Badu and I gotta say is that the booty don’t lie. Shakira told us that 7 years ago, true; but the message is still just as powerful to this very day.
After the success of ‘Latch’ and ‘White Noise’, Disclosure take it back to basics with new single ‘You & Me’, released April 28.
In an unlikely collaboration with Eliza Doolittle, the duo embrace the garage sounds that made us fall in love with their earlier material. While it may not be quite as immediate as the aforementioned singles, it only takes a couple of plays for the fast paced chorus to sink in and do its magic. Combined with a slinky beat that sounds like it could have come straight out of 2001, and Disclosure have hit that sweet spot yet once again.
I don’t know what to think about the new Drake single. The sparse, repetitive instrumental gives the track a nice atmosphere, but the fact that it really is repetitive is a bit of a problem as well.
Don’t even get me started on the lyrics. I mean, really? We knew you were going to cover the same ‘rose from ashes, now I’m in gold glasses’ ish on this track, but you could have at least invested in a thesaurus to make things a little interesting Drizzy.
This isn’t bad, just incredibly disappointing. Even if Drake does tell us this was all a joke and what we’re all just hearing is a half finished snippet, it still has nothing on his previous lead singles, let’s face it.
Following up ‘Latch’ was always going to be difficult. I mean, it was that song. So what better to do than hook up with one of the most hyped bands of 2012?
Well, it could have been awful. Disclosure could have been teaming up with some bland band that were hyped up by some bland magazine as pioneers of some indie/post-indie/post-future-rock/turtlewave revolution. Thankfully that’s not the case though. They’ve team up with AlunaGeorge, so without even hearing the song we pretty much know it’s amazing. Plus it’s Disclosure, enough said.
With two of my favourite acts of 2012 teaming up this could have been one of those massively disappointing hyped collaborations. It’s not. ‘White Noise’ is everything it should have and could have been - and more. Even on top of a massive 80s techno influenced instrumental Aluna’s vocals are unmistakeable. The production is precise without sounding calculated, with the euphoria of the pre-chorus with it’s looped vocals and hollow core being my favourite part of the track. That’s all before the massive chorus comes in, resulting in something close enough to perfection.
Despite Drake acting like an idiot by putting a Chris Brown diss in a posthumous release, ‘Enough Said’ was one of my favourite tracks of 2012. Aaliyah’s “came too far to give up, gotta try” riff helped to remind me what I love so much about her music, easily meriting the release of some new material. Her effortless, haunting vocals sounded sublime on top of a sparse instrumental and left me begging for more unreleased material.
'Quit Hatin' isn't technically new as there's been a low quality version of the Knotch & Dre Sinatra track floating about the net for years; but bar some slight tagging we've now got it in all of it's high quality glory. You can hear the yearning in Aaliyah's voice now, as she pleads with her friends to quit hating on her man, whom she loves despite the fact that she knows he's nothing but bad for her.
Cascading snares form the basis of the instrumental, which sounds tense thanks to an off-kilter piano riff and some unnerving sirens in the background. Combined with slow, aching synths, this is another atmospheric Aaliyah track which reminds us just how much she’s missed in today’s music industry.
Jessie Ware // If You’re Never Gonna Move (Two Inch Punch Remix)
Can we all just forget that whole Big Pun legal drama thing ever happened? Despite what his estate may want, this track will always be known as ‘110%’. Forever. That’s just how it is.
For now we’re going to have to call it ‘If You’re Never Gonna Move’ though. Sure, it may not have the same mystique about it, but that’s what Jessie’s new American EP is called, so call it that we will.
'110%', with it's pulsating beats zig-zagging all over the place, fits in perfectly somewhere in that space between Björk's 'Hyperballad' and Kelis and André 3000's 'Millionaire'. Basically it's brilliant. The Two Inch Punch remix turns the track a sexy electronic slow jam, complete with heavy bass and cascading snares. It's a complete transformation, but everything just sounds so effortless as if it were meant to be. Brilliant.
Futuresex / Lovesounds. 2006. An impressive record. 7 years. It was always going to be a tough one to follow up. After a while it seemed like we’d all just accepted that the third album would never happen. Then Justin appeared with this 'I'm Ready' video and we all got very excited. Well, at least I did.
With such a build-up there were always going to be high expectations. Pressing play on the new Justin Timberlake single was always going to be a big moment. So I found a youtube clip, clicked on the red triangle, and this sound erupted from my laptop speakers. I was horrified. It sounded dated and lacked any sort of melody whatsoever. There were tears. It was a very emotional moment.
Then all of a sudden the beat changed and turned the whole track on its head . I suddenly had this revolutionary idea to ditch the crappy laptop speakers and give my headphones a try. It was at that moment that I finally found true happiness.
'Suit & Tie' might not come close to the singles off 'Futuresex / Lovesounds', but that was 2006 when mainstream music was generally in a much better place. This is still a good song. The intro starts off deep. The bass pounds against your ears. Underwhelming, maybe; but still nice. Then this groovy drum pattern enters and it gets very good. Justin's quick paced vocals sound perfect against 70s horns, creating an atmosphere not to dissimilar to that in Snoop Dogg collaboration 'Signs'. Refreshing to say the least.
The chorus is a typical Timbaland affair, but it’s his best work in forever so I won’t go ape on him for that. In fact, Timbaland did a pretty good job on the production. Sure, it may not have been as forward-thinking as I’d hoped, but I love the way it all slows down and the beat drops out during Jay-Z’s verse. Plus the outro is killer. Justin didn’t given us the revolutionary material we’d hoped for - in facr ‘Suit & Tie’ could well end up among his weakest singles in retrospect. However it’s a good song, and for that, I’m happy.
New track from the Florida producer sounds just about right at 6am. For a moment I thought it sampled Chaka Khan, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. Still, impressive. Download the song from soundcloud because, well, it’s free.
The XX // Last Christmas (Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover)
It’s been a long time since I’ve been posting music, but I’m gonna try and give this whole blog thing a try for about the 1000th time. I’d say I was sorry for my absence, but you’d probably rather I apologise for returning to be honest.
Since it’s Christmas I thought I’d post something to try and get us in the holiday mood. I’m not gonna lie, I still don’t feel Christmassy at all. Hopefully this XX track will help. The trio performed the Wham cover in Radio 1’s Live Lounge today, and I’m impressed that they managed to make the irritating track a lot better by giving it this haunting ambience. Watery guitars, subdued vocals and surprisingly sharp synths give the song a bit of a groove as well, which make listening to the song even more of an odd experience.
Speaking of odd, I decided to use a photo of the band all happy and smiling to get us in that Christmas mood. If it doesn’t work for you then that’s fair enough - the joyous photo and song still weren’t enough to get me in the Christmas mood, but at least we got to see a photo of The XX that proves they do have emotions, right?
It’s been a while since we’ve heard the gorgeous voice of Yasmin. It’s also been a while since we’ve heard from me, but I’m not gorgeous so we’ll get round to that some other time.
Gorgon City is the collaborative project between Foamo and Rack n Ruin, and it seems like they’re gelling together pretty well if their set on Radio 1’s Diplo & Friends show is anything to go by.
"Used To Be Real" is a track they premiered on the aforementioned show. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a single or not, but if either Foamo or Rack n Ruin end up reading this, please release it. Yasmin sounds like one of those cool mid-90s dance vocalists on the bass heavy, throwback tune. Everything from the production to the melody is irresistible, plus it’s nice to hear Yasmin again.
After the release “Shades Of Grey” back in September, Delilah is back with a remix of “Never Be Another”, which will serve as the sixth single off her debut album “From The Roots Up”.
As explained in this previous review, I absolutely love the song. With its unearthly intro, off kilter instrumentation and marching drum beat, “Never Be Another” sees Delilah toughening up and going into stealth mode. So you’d think a verse from Devlin would fit in perfectly, right? It doesn’t. At all.
Devlin sounds completely out of place on the track. His style doesn’t match with the instrumental, plus sometimes it sounds like his flow doesn’t even go with the beat at all. “Never Be Another” is still a stellar record, but I’d listen to the version without Devlin if I were you.
Brandy’s “Two Eleven” was released in Europe today, so I thought it would be only fair to give you a teaser to tempt you into buying the LP. Except I can’t give you a teaser since Brandy’s team don’t want the song online until the album is released worldwide, so enjoy the Rugrats theme tune for now.
From the snippets it was track number four, “Slower”, that stood out the most to me from the R&B singer’s sixth effort. With low-slung synths riding upon a slick early 2000s reminiscent drum pattern, “Slower” takes me back to the days of “Full Moon”, while also reminding me of many an atmospheric R&B hit of today.
However, Brandy’s unique tone makes the track a lot sweeter than the likes of “Motivation”, while the subtle production makes it a lot more unique than the Jim Jonsin joint. There’s a bit in the track when these swirling synths, reminiscent of those in Crystal Castle’s “Courtship Dating”/”Ayo Technology” come in. Combined with the slick production and a slight touch of the piano it all works so well. After the disappointment of lead single “Put It Down”, it seems like Brandy might bring the goods with “Two Eleven” after all. Make sure you cop the LP when it’s released next week, it sounds like it could be a lot better than 2008’s “Human”.
For the benefit of RCA Records & Brandy I am posting some websites that confirm illegal downloads of “Two Eleven” that are spreading. Semi-popular website BrandySource seems to be the main source of the link, with confirmation of illegal activity available here and throughout this topic.
Joe Goddard makes great music. Jessie Ware makes great music. So naturally I was happy when I found out he would be her mentor for the Bacardi Beginnings project. I mean, it was nice that he would be guiding Jessie through the ways of the music business, giving her a helping hand as she made her way towards a Mercury Prize nomination. I was a little happier when I found out he’d be remixing the brilliant “Night Light” though. You know, because I’m selfish and love getting new material from the likes of Jessie Ware.
Joe has taken the lovelorn dramatics of the original track and turned it into an 80s new-jack swing groove. It’s still got that nocturnal feel about it, but in more of a Janet Jackson circa “Control” way this time. It sounds seriously good, with a disco groove that makes it sound a little like a more uptempo “Sweet Talk”. There’s male vocal loops and jumpy synths galore on this remix, so go ahead and press play.
Annie Mac released her “Annie Mac Presents 2012” compilation today. Featuring some of the hottest tracks of the past year, alongside new ones, this is definitely the best of the fresh cuts on there.
AlunaGeorge just keep on giving. Ever since Deluzan linked me to this track last week I’ve been addicted. The moment I heard the piano intro and sped up vocals I knew I’d love it. From the perfectly crafted verses to the sweet chorus, “Watching Over You” is an impressive piece of glitchy electro-R&B.
It turns out that Aluna and George make quite a team then. I know you already knew that, but I just wanted to remind you. Make sure you support them by downloading “Your Drums, Your Love” from Itunes. It’s not like you won’t be getting some great music with that £1.99 after all. Look out for their debut album next year as well, I can’t wait for that.
When I heard that Stooshe were covering TLC’s “Waterfalls” I was horrified. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when artists take an old song, switch it up and put a modern twist on it, but “Waterfalls” is untouchable.
Thankfully Stooshe are the most talented girl group out there at the moment, so it’s not all bad news. Plus T-Boz and Chilli gave the track their seal of approval, and are set to star in the video. Still, it seems to soon to cover such a modern classic.
Onto the song though. Stooshe are great with their harmonies, so that works really well on this track. I love that they’ve played up on the horns as well, they sound great against the slightly more acoustic instrumental. However, the track definitely has it’s weak spots for me. Left Eye’s verse just doesn’t sound well when translated into a combination of singing and rapping. It just doesn’t even begin to compare to the greatness that was that verse.
On one hand I love that Stooshe stayed true to the original, but on the other hand I wish they’d done a Delilah and switched it up like her cover version of “Inside My Love”. This cover is bound to split opinions though. While I do like it, and am glad that such a brilliant song is being introduced to a new generation, I just can’t but help stray back to the TLC version when listening to this.
"Sleep In The Park" serves as the b-side to Solange’s new single "Losing You". No, this isn’t one of those cases where the b-side is better than the a-side. "Sleep In The Park" is nice, but it’s definitely not better than "Losing You".
With zipping synths and licks of psychedelic guitar, this sounds like a pop song straight out of the 70s. It’s short and simple, with a catchy chorus that you’ll no doubt you might be singing along to by the time the final chorus comes around. It’s nothing amazing or extremely adventurous, but the production is pretty solid and there’s a great variety of instrumentation. It’s just not that special, that’s all.
I’ve been spinning this quite a bit today, so I guess I do like it. Make sure you get both this and “Losing You” off Itunes. It says it’s not available on the UK Itunes store at the moment, but I found a loophole and managed to get it off there via the mobile store.
Solange hasn’t released a proper single since 2009’s “T.O.N.Y.”, but now she’s back with the first single from her third album, which is due sometime in 2013.
Released through Terrible Records, “Losing You” sees Solange experimenting once again by embracing new wave sounds. Produced by Blood Orange, the song combines rhythmic guitar riffs with a bouncy drumbeat and 80s synths to create something unusual. I just can’t help but move when I hear the beat.
Solange’s smooth melodies fit in well with the production, making the song seem light despite the instrumental having layer upon layer. Once the vocals are gone, there’s a 50 second outro, which is definitely on of the best parts of the song. It’s got such an effortless grove - though I the song’s creation was effortless considering the trouble Solange had making this record.
"Losing You" doesn’t have a fantastic melody like "I Decided" and "Sandcastle Disco" It doesn’t have the lyricism of "T.O.N.Y." either. With it’s detailed production and experimental sound, the brilliance is in the subtlety this time around. "Losing You" is a perfect break-up anthem. Despite the fact it’s obvious things are coming to and end, at least you can still dance. Good work Solange.
Experimental producer Flying Lotus releases his fourth studio album “Until The Quiet Comes” today. “Getting There” is track number two on the LP, and features singer Niki Randa on vocals.
Ever since I heard a clip of this track during a short film made to promote the record, I was dying to hear it. The full track may be only 1:49 in length, but there’s so much goodness packed into that short space in time.
Niki’s vocals sound distant as they drift into a haze above a psychedelic Hip-Hop beat. Everything about this song sounds so dreamy, I absolutely love it. It seems like something that would have been used in Boyz n the Hood, but with this crazy good modern production. I can’t wait to check out the rest of the album.
There’s a bit of confusion as to what “Explosions” actually is. Capital FM were reporting it as the second single off Halcyon, which doesn’t really seem likely considering it was released a day after “Anything Could Happen”. However, seeing as that isn’t exactly the type of song that sells an album, it seems like “Explosions” is a promo single for the time being.
This track is something special. Beginning with Ellie’s soft, grainy vocals against operatic backing vocals, strings and piano gently enter before a pounding drum beat kicks in and things really get going. Ellie shows strength and a little vulnerability in this empowering, but ultimately sad power ballad. Everything about this is beautiful, it’s definitely a highlight of Ellie’s career to date.
Both “Explosions” and “Anything Can Happen” are available to download on UK Itunes right now, with the album going on sale October 8. With this song being as good as it is I wouldn’t be surprised if it was announced as the second single in a matter of time - it’s just screaming for a Winter release.
It was only a matter of time before Roses Gabor came along with some solo material. After collaborations with the likes of Shy Fx, Redlight, Gorillaz and most notably providing vocals on SBTRKT’s “Pharoahs”, it would have been foolish for her not to give the whole solo singer thing a go.
It’s a good thing she’s doing her own thing too. “Stars” is an amazing introduction to the UK singer. It somehow manages to be both in your face, with it’s heavy bassline and quickfire chopped up vocals; yet subtle, with it’s dark production and off kilter drums.
I presume Annie Mac premiered the song late at night as she talked about how it suited the time of day perfectly. “Stars” sounds perfect during that moment when everything’s over, it’s 4am and you’re by yourself deciding whether to watch a film or not before eventually drifting off to sleep in a few hours. Redlight’s menacing production combined with Roses’ soft vocals make it sound like there’s something she’s afraid of. Especially the part when her vocals are chopped up in quick successions, as it sounds like she’s running from something deadly like Mika wearing a pair of crocs.
I have a feeling this could be the first of many great singles from Roses Gabor. Hopefully she’ll do a Jessie Ware, and slowly but surely build hype with each single release after that series of high profile features. Make sure you download this mid November.
Rihanna releases a lot of music. I mean, who would have thought in 2005 that she’d be on her 7th album in seven years time?
Despite releasing so much in such a short space of time, all of her lead singles have been pretty impressive. Okay, the last 3 were growers for me, but I ended up absolutely loving them in the end. I just couldn’t chose a favourite out of them at all.
Here’s the new one “Diamonds”. I’m not sure what I think about it at the moment, but it’s a nice urban tinged, R&B mid-tempo. It’s not a slushy mid-tempo though, it’s a bit more upbeat and fun that that. Nice.
I don’t really listen to Wiz Khalifa, but I had to hear this track when I saw The Weeknd feature. Thankfully Abel’s done his thing on this, and just like “Crew Love” this sounds like The Weeknd feat Wiz Khalifa.
It’s a pretty by the numbers affair in many ways for The Weeknd. His sound is great though so that’s okay. I love how the Arabian sounds combine with the atmospheric vibe and Hip-Hop beats on “Remember Me” - it’s sounds real good. I just wish the drums didn’t sound so hollow as it ruins the production a little for me.
I haven’t mentioned Wiz much at all in this write up - don’t worry though, he sounds pretty good, so it’s ok. Of course The Weeknd’s chorus definitely steals the show here, but we weren’t expecting any different, were we?
"Hollow Drum" is a new track from London singer-songwriter Laura Welsh, who was previously lead singer of Laura and the Tears.
It’s a very nice song, combining alternative pop and downtempo electronica elements to create a haunting mid-tempo ballad. Laura’s voice stands out amongst the space in the production, making everything sound all pensive and a bit broody. I guess that emptiness makes the song title appropriate then.
You can get the track for free at Laura’s tumblr, although it’s not working for me at the moment. Hopefully they’ll get that sorted, but for now enjoy the stream, because all that brooding and tension is sure effective. Thanks to Cruel Rhythm for sending me this one.
This one has a great mixture of Hip-Hop, Garage and R&B. Look out for the likes of Eve, Blu Cantrell, Kanye West, Big Boi, Destiny’s Child, N.E.R.D, Lauryn Hill, The Delfonics, Mario and many more. I dare you not to start moving when Amerie’s “1 Thing” comes on as well.
I think I heard a snippet of some new AlunaGeorge material in the mix - and thankfully, just like their music, the duo’s taste in music is amazing too. Make sure you download the minimix right here.
No Doubt’s comeback album “Push and Shove” has slithered it’s way onto the internet, so naturally I had to tease and post a little bit of music.
"Undone" was the track that immediately stood out to me from the snippets. It’s a gorgeous acoustic driven mid-tempo ballad that takes me back to some of the band’s mellower material. It’s softness really stands out against the sound palette of the new LP, as it has a very different production from most of the record.
Gwen sounds vulnerable on this one as she pleads not to be left behind in her hour of need. Combined that with the track’s lyrics and a slight country twang, and it becomes a real tearjerker and almost a stadium filler. Will, at least venue filler. That’s part of the beauty of the song though. Yes, it’s a little sappy - but it manages to include a big chorus without going all U2 on us all. “Undone” is definitely a great preview of “Push and Shove” for me.
"Triple Threat" is a complex one. On one hand I love that it feels like a classic Missy/Timbaland collaboration - the production with those bouncy synths instantly reminded me of "Get Ur Freak On". On the other hand I know both can do a lot better though.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad song. It has it’s good parts. Parts of it just seem a little simple, while others seem a little tacky and not in the good way. It’s a hot enough song, but it just seems a little bit more buzz single than a proper comeback. “9th Inning” is definitely the better of the two.
Today saw Missy debut not one, but two Timbaland produced cuts. It’s been a long time coming; finally Missy’s back with some stellar material.
"9th Inning" features Timbaland on vocals as well - that probably means we’ll get some more than interesting facial expressions in the music video. His verse is a lot better than what he’s been doing recently though, but it’s all about Missy. Her verses are sick on this joint - she goes in so hard over the bass heavy, piano-led beat.
Thankfully the beat is good. The piano adds a sinister tone to the deep, heavy beats, creating an ultimately dark atmosphere. It reminds me a little of The Game’s “How We Do” and Fiddy’s “Ayo Technology” with the glitchy synths etc, but just a lot heavier. Sure, it doesn’t have a chorus, but does it really need one when Missy’s verses are so good?
Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean & Marsha Ambrosius // The One
I couldn’t post all these “Cruel Summer” tracks without something from Kanye. Sure, we already had the best Yeezy features from the LP (“Mercy”, “Clique”, “New God Flow”), but I couldn’t completely ignore him in these posts.
"The One" represents what’s good and bad about "Cruel Summer". On one hand it’s got a big chorus from Marsha Ambrosius and a nice verse from Kanye, but on the other hand the production on the drums is a bit light and it sounds like a lessor version of what we’ve heard before.
In between a little overproduction, a bit more underproduction and four too many Big Sean features there’s some great tracks on “Cold Summer”. It’s nothing compared to a Kanye album, but it showcases the talents within G.O.O.D Music nicely and keeps us entertained until Kanye gives us the goods once again.
John Legend and Teyana Taylor are doing their thing on “Cruel Summer”. Following on from their contributions to the impressive “Sin City”, the two collaborate on the 11th track on the album, “Bliss”.
The track title seems appropriate to be honest. Starting with a dramatic string opening, the track bursts into an 80s hair guitar riff, before some bouncy synths are thrown into the mix to soften things up a little. It’s all very smooth and metallic.
John & Teyana serenade eachother in the duet, which is a sweet love ballad that sounds a little odd compared to most of the “Cruel Summer” LP lyrically. Thankfully the production ties things up a little better, with this song making me excited for John’s upcoming record “Love In The Future”.
I’m loving this cut off “Cruel Summer”. Produced by Dan Black, who Cudi collaborated with on “Symphonies”, “Creepers” sees him go hard over a neo-soul influenced production with a ridiculous clapping beat.
It’s a bit repetitive at points, but that’s what gets it stuck in your head so much. “Creepers” definitely justifies why Kid Cudi got a solo spot on the collaborative LP.
John Legend, Teyana Taylor, CyHi Da Prynce, Malik Yusef & Travis Scott // Sin City
Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music compilation “Cruel Summer” has finally leaked, and man are there some good songs on it.
"Sin City" is an immediate stand out. With pulsating synths over a heavy beat, I love how the track has a distinct 80s sound about it. The smoothness of John Legend and Teyana Taylor’s vocals contrasts against the darkness of "Sin City", which perfectly matches CyHi Da Prynce’s stellar verse.
The track has clear production similarities to much of the “Watch The Throne” material. It’s very grand with that long spoken word intro and break in between verses. I’m still convinced that Yeezy is saving the best for his sixth studio album, but this is high quality no doubt.
Think back to January 2005: this track was everywhere and would have been a UK #1 if there hadn’t been those annoying Elvis re-issues released every single week. I was a sad 10 year old who liked making his own personal singles charts in countless notebooks. “Only You” would spend weeks fighting it out with Ciara’s “Goodies”, as the songs went back and forth to #1 spot in my imaginary world. Good times.
The past seven years have had ups and downs for the two ladies I guess. Ashanti went independent after Ja Rule fizzled into thin air, while Ciara struggled to re-capture her early success. But despite the failures, these two tracks remain firm favourites of mine. One more so than the other - I mean, that is why I’m writing about Ashanti instead of Ciara.
"Only U" is an unusual track. It’s one of those ones that comes along every now and again and just makes you go ‘wow’. Think Aaliyah’s "Are You That Somebody?", Gnarls Barkley’s "Crazy", Beyoncé’s "Crazy In Love". Three tracks that stood out like a sore thumb when released, and we love them all the more for it.
It’s a bit different with Ashanti though. While the other three songs are fondly remembered, “Only U” fell into some deep abyss alongside the likes of Mýa, Javine and Lisa Maffia. Sure, it sounded like nothing else on the radio, but it was aggressive and didn’t give her the hit she needed in the US. Therefore there were no copycat tracks and the song was forgotten before you could say Mario Winans.
Nevertheless, “Only U” remains one of my favourite R&B tracks of the 2000s. I’m not even going to start talking about Ashanti’s vocals, because we all know it’s about the 7 Aurelius production. That guitar riff. Need I say more? Combined with a heavy hip-hop beat, strings and a spoken word intro it just sounded perfect. Ashanti’s supple vocals simply rode the beat, completing something cutting edge which was never heard again.