Monthly Report: September Singles
1. Cee-Lo Green f/ Melanie Fiona and Philip Bailey - "Fool For You"
It bums me out that I haven't really been able to get behind Cee-Lo becoming hugely successful, mainly because "Fuck You" is such a shitty plastic Motown pastiche that I associate more with Bruno Mars and the Smeezingtons than Cee-Lo's own obvious and undeniable grasp on classic soul and ability to make that sound his own. So it's refreshing that The Lady Killer finally has a moderate R&B radio hit that's really fantastic, with backup vocals from Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire. What really makes it great to me is the single mix that was turned into a duet with Melanie Fiona, whose voice I've really fallen in love with lately after her solo single "Gone & Never Coming Back."
2. Ximena Sariñana – "Different"
This is one of those artists that VH1 tried to make happen with the whole 'you oughta know' thing and it didn't seem to do much good, but hey, I liked it. Cute girl, cute video, really catchy song and punchy arrangement, even if the vocal lacks a certain punch that might've made it a pop hit.
3. Marsha Ambrosius - "Late Nights & Early Mornings"
"Far Away" is already one of my favorite R&B singles of the year but it's great to hear a follow-up that's almost as good and, from a production standpoint at least, a bit more unique and arresting. A lot of mainstream R&B has used that '80s Prince LinnDrum sound to great effect in recent years but this just takes it a little further out there with that smeared texture and halting triplet rhythm, really awesome track.
4. Seether - "Tonight"
Seether is, in my opinion, one of the least redeemable grunting neo-grunge bands that have dominated active rock radio for forever now, but like all their peers, they still occasionally stumble onto a hook. At first this sounded so vaguely familiar that I thought it might be a cover, then I thought maybe because it was called "Tonight" and had a chorus that mentioned rooftops that it reminded me of that Hot Chelle Rae song. Then I realized that the said 'rooftop' line is actually very similar to Republica's "Ready To Go," which is extra hilarious since Seether's first hit, "Fine Again," copped its hook from a line in Alanis Morrissette's "Head Over Feet." So now I just picture the South African grunge cavemen from Seether just being so into stuff like Alanis and Republica that it starts subconsciously influencing their songwriting.
5. David Guetta f/ Usher - "Without You"
I don't like a lot of American R&B stars going Eurodance and especially not Usher, but for some reason I'm kind of into this song. The weird thing though is that the first couple times I heard it I was so sure it was a comeback single from Mario, and I still hear a lot of Mario in the vocal performance.