DRUMS INTO THE DISTANCE:Brandy’s new single ‘Put It Down’, featuring Chris Brown hit the net today. I will give a review of the song sometime soon but for now I thought that I would raid the ‘unreleased’ vaults and post this Timabaland produced track ‘Drum Life’. It’s interesting because I thought that I had head this track before, but it turned out that it was a different track incorrectly put under that title. Anyway to put the focus back onto this track, ‘Drum Life’ is one of those lilting mid-tempos that only Brandy can pull off. Tim’s production is a little more laid-back than usual, featuring vocal chants in the background and light drums. This soundscape allows B Rocka room to breathe life into this relaxing track on which she sings about a reserved man who Brandy likes but doesn’t want to let go and dance. Well I’m sure if he heard her sing this song to him he would be up on his right away (I certainly know that I would be!). I look forward to hearing what ‘Two Eleven’ has to offer, even if neither Timbaland nor Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins have been mentioned in the list of producers that Brandy has worked with for the project. She’s a vocalist who can give any song depth and a genuine warm energy so I know there are going to be some tracks that I will love, if not the entire album. Until the release of said album, enjoy this slept-on number from the ‘Human’ era, back in about 2008.
WORDS AND WHISPERS: Any pop music fans know that there are unreleased tracks and gems that you can come across at any given moment. A lot of the time the scrapped songs don’t end up hitting the Internet until a few years after they were originally recorded. That was the case with this track by Brandy, ‘Sweet Nothings’, which was recorded for her 2004 album ‘Afrodisiac’ but never made the cut. Then two years later it hit the net. I only discovered it yesterday. The track samples Meshell Ndegeocello’s instrumental track ‘Adam’ and builds on it with a chugging bass and light synths. Brandy’s vocals are on top form, she uses the higher part of her range to sing about a lover who she can’t stay away from because their sweet talk overshadows their negative qualities. Another interesting fact about the track is that it was produced by Maximum Risk of Soulcamp Entertainment, a Danish producer (or should I say member of a Danish production team) who is virtually unknown to me (I think that the team have worked with a few UK artists and on remixes of US artists’ track). Interesting that Brandy should have chosen to record this track and potentially have to sit next to ones produced by Timbaland, Warryn Campbell and Kanye West. Well based off of this I can’t wait to hear more from them. Brandy’s new album is slated to be released in May 2012 and the first single is meant to be a duet with Monica. I’m stoked; can’t wait.
RUNNING OFF THE CHAIN: So here’s another Amerie post to start off the year. A leftover track from her sophmore album ‘Touch’, ‘Love’s Off The Chain’ features Rich Harrison’s signature funky horns and nagging production. I am always amazed at how vintage he manages to make his tracks sound even when they don’t sample, which is the case here. Amerie’s vocals are raspy and emotional which work so well with the context of a love/hate relationship in this song. Her vocals sound slightly strident on the verses, but it all adds edge to an intense track. I remember Shortee Blitz from Kiss 100 in London playing this track all the time, so props to him for getting me hooked to this. It really is ‘off the chain’, for lack of better words.
LOSING YOUR COOL: There have been several unreleased tracks from over the years that have stuck with me. Unfortunately due to the fact that they were never released some of them end up forgotten until rediscovered. ‘Lost My Mind’ is a wonderful mid-tempo from 2000 that was only released on promo but that is still lauded in specialist R’n’B and hip-hop circles. Hawkins’ vocal stylings do remind me a little of Eric Benet, if I can make any comparisons. The track has that production that chugs along but is also slick and smooth as can be, a staple of early 2000s R’n’B. A classic, although most people haven’t been able to purchase it.