Various - The Best of R&B Hit Selection
Love it or loathe it, there's no getting away from modern R&B. This two CD compilation certainly covers the spectrum in terms of quality. At one end there are artists pushing creative boundaries... At the other there are perhaps two of the year's worst singles.
If it wasn't for the swearing and a response track from his apparent ex-girlfriend, Eamon's interminably dull Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back) would have surely sunk without trace. Well, maybe not. 3 Of A Kind's awful Baby Cakes comes with neither swearing nor relationship intrigue, yet the fact this was greenlighted for recording, never mind bought in large quantities, is surely one of the great mysteries of our time.
On the plus side, there are the ever-interesting likes of Kelis, Outkast and N.E.R.D., all proving the genre does have something to teach the wider musical world. Favourites by Jamelia, Lisa Maffia and the late Aaliyah also make it, as well as a few decent lesser known tracks. These include Black Moth Connection's Shake Ur Body, lifted by lush Bollywood strings, and sassy pop contributions from Verbalicious and Jentina.
Much of the rest is a soup of identibeats, unvarying arrangements and soul so lite it makes Craig David look like Barry White. In short, there is much here to support the theory that modern R&B is indeed pretty bland, making this one for die-hard fans only.