Verbals by A to the L
Cassius Henry ft. Freeway – The One (Universal)
One of the new breed of UK R’n’B artists, Henry’s 2001 breakthrough hit ‘Broke’ was rightly pumped across many’s a dancefloor and mixtape. Now with work on his debut album almost completed, his second single ‘The One’ finally drops, following some sterling promo work already from the likes of Timothy Westwood. With the UK rivalling (and some would say overtaking) the US for quality of output from its Hiphop and R’n’B artists, its not surprising to find another collaboration between the US and UK, as American artists try to break into a ‘new’ market over some quality production. Here we have the Roc’s Freeway (and on the flip Kanye West on the remix) linking up with Henry nicely over a horn-heavy track. For some reason, Cassius reminds me a cross between RL (lead single of Next) and Sisqo – don’t take this is as a diss though, although it is quite generic in makeup, this is still a nice little club banger which should light the path nicely to his album.
RATING: 6.5 / 10

Teedra Moses – Complex Simplicity Sampler (TVT Records)
This joint features a few full tracks off the upcoming “Complex Simplicity” album and a few snippets of some other album cuts. Of the three full joints, ‘You’ll Never Find (A Better Woman)’ is the stand out. A mid tempo affair with high pitched vocal samples (a la Kanye West), this cut features a guest verse from Jadakiss. ‘No More Tears’ is a more smoothed out, ballad type joint where Moses breaks down her determination to cut off a lost love, and live a happier life on her own. ‘Doin’ You’ meanwhile is a Neptunes jack, obviously aiming for the clubs. As for the snippets – ‘Be Your Girl’ and ‘Caution’ both pique the interest – both club and radio friendly, especially the former, while ‘For A Lifetime’ is another slowed down ballad. On the basis of this evidence, the upcoming album may well be something to look out for – Moses can definitely hold down the notes, and the production is bouncy enough to keep the interest levels up. Look out for this.
RATING: 8 / 10

LL Cool J – Head Sprung (Def Jam)
Once again Ladies Love goes for the lowest common denominator. This is pure tripe. Timbaland’s beat rips off Blaque’s recent ‘I’m Good’ single, tries to give it a dirty south feel with the synths and the rowdy chorus… and fails dismally. LL sounds uncomfortable over this type of beat too, although much of what he has recorded in the last few years HAS sounded uncomfortable and forced. Its obvious that its a weak attempt to cash in on what’s hot at the moment – unfortunately for LL – I see thru this like freshly-cleaned windows. Straight up doo-doo butter.
RATING: 2 / 10

Jody Breeze ft Lil Jon & Pastor Troy – Take It Outside (Sho Nuff Recordings)
Again Lil Jon comes with the hotness. Here his trademark synths, adlibs and chant-along chorus support newcomer Breeze and ATL vet Pastor Troy as they rant and rave over the beat. Of course Lil Jon’s chorus steals the show – this time he wants to take it outside cos he got “Sumpin’ in the trunk”. Its rowdy fight music – something to throw chairs around the club, and its bangin’. This is gonna be the next Youngbloodz ‘Damn’, just watch.
RATING: 8 / 10

Mase – Welcome Back (Bad Boy)
Surely whatever radio station you have in your area is already playing the hell out of this. Putting his bible down for a second to grab the mic again, Minister Mase is back to grab his mumble mouth crown back from Fabolous and Loon. The beat could ONLY have Mase on it – its cartoony, bubblegum pop to the extreme, but sometime despite the syrupy coating he manages to pull this off and make it sound good. Like too much sugar – you know you shouldn’t like this so much, but you can’t help it. Welcome back, moonface.
RATING: 8 / 10

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