@@@ Tems: The Key (Leading Vibe, 2021) All three of today’s listens are off the Line of Best Fit email. It’s finely manicured r&b with a little boombaton tossed in for flavors. Female singer with a delay on her voice and a keyboard driven track. It percolates pretty well by the time the bass starts to pulse. ‘This is the key to save you’ that’s the vocal hook. I don’t know about regular readers but sometimes I’m not in the mood for the self empowerment lyrics and that’s the case here. It’s just my personal preference as the singer is pretty skilled and works the microphone with more than solid energy.
@@@ Yaya Bey: The Root of a Thing (Big Dada, 2021) More guitar and bass driven r&b with a more cosmic flow to it. Female spoken word artist going deep into her own family history talking about her father and mother. I like the sounds and I like her approach as it’s neither confessional nor preachy as she just goes off on her trip. I could use a bit of a break from the loop the musicians get into but it’s cool. I let the player click through in hopes of hearing some beats as I think these sounds would sound really good with some beats.
@@@ Miguel: Thinking Out Loud (RCA, 2021) Former heartthrob coming back after a bit of time away. The blurb on the Apple Music points out Miguel’s sonic jumping around and this tune does take some disparate sounds that he pushes down into his r&b format. Most notable is what sounds like a sample being mugged by a step sequencer that cycles through a bunch of small glitches that offset his loverboy vocal flow. I don’t love this but I like it a whole bunch more than I thought I would. He’s got something going here that’s more than just a bunch of loverboy sounds. Certainly outperforms the Bruno Mars/Pharrell stuff that is straight cotton candy.