Why it rocks: There’s been an abundance of great alt-R&B over the past few years. It climaxed last year with Frank Ocean‘s channel ORANGE and includes this year’s Dawn Richard‘s Goldenheart, Autre Ne Veut‘s Anxiety, and, not coincidentally, Rhye‘s Woman, a project from the producer half of Quadron, Robin Hannibal. Even Usher got in on the game last year with one of 2012’s best songs, the darkly euphoric “Climax”. “Hey Love” is the bounciest of the bunch, shining a little light into the darkness R&B is embracing more and more. With its broadly appealing chorus of “Promise the best is yet to come” and its aching desire for commitment, “Hey Love” is proof that the alt-R&B boom isn’t going to stay in the shadows.
If you like this…: Try any of those above records, especially anything off of Goldenheart, one of my favorite albums of the year so far. But a more accurate comparison in terms of the song’s feel is probably Janelle Monáe‘s “Tightrope”.
How’s the album?: A joy to listen to. Hannibal’s other effort this year, Woman, is cool and distant. Quadron’s Avalanche benefits from the directness of singer Coco O’s vocals. Other highlights include opener “LFT” (the letters of which stand for Looking for Trouble- didn’t you k now?) and “Better Off” which features the hot-hot-hot Kendrick Lamar.