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New R&B Adds: KING & August Alsina

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KING – We Are KING: Currently the most common forms of R&B tend to lean either into alternative-electronics or hip-hop, which causes three-piece group KING feels like a refreshing throwback to a laid-back, straightforward R&B. The group is clearly influenced by Corinne Bailey Rae, but instead of plucking guitars these ladies take an atmospheric sound, layering their vocals on top of pillow-y beats, reminiscent of Solange during her Hadley Street Dreams-era. That being said it is easy to get lost in the album which can be both a boon as well as We Are KING’s detriment. Many of the best songs are the ones that have been floating around for the past few years, such as “Hey” which reappears in an extended form. In the end this album is great for anyone who enjoys classic R&B with a slight twist. KENNETH

RIYL: Solange, Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, Lianne La Havas, Brandy

Recommended Tracks: “Red Eye” (3), “Supernatural (Extended Mix)” [4], “Mister Chameleon” (8), “Hey (Extended Mix)” [9]

August Alsina - This Thing Called LifeAugust Alsina plays within the hip-hop inflected tradition of R&B. If this was 2005 he would probably be singing hooks on various flavor of the month rappers tracks, which would be a shame considering his potential. On This Thing Called Life, Alsina shifts from singing about love to focusing on his life experiences and familial relationships. Alsina’s delivery is similar to that of Jeremih, singing with a style that closely mirrors the rhythm of rap, but instead of being perpetually in clubs, Alsina sounds as though he is ruminating in various dimly lit locations à la Drake. While This Thing Called Life does not stand as a cohesive body of work, standouts such as “Song Cry” are numerous enough to keep the project afloat. KENNETH

RIYL: Jeremih, Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign

Recommended Tracks: “Job (feat. Anthony Hamilton & Jadakiss)” [2], “Hollywood” (4), “Hip-Hop” (5), “Been Around the World (feat. Chris Brown)” [8], “Song Cry” (11)