I’m an R&B head at heart (amongst other things) – and I’ve complained time & time again, that over the years, the genre has experienced a sad downward spiral into a sound that at times feels as though it is almost non-existent (unless of course, you listen to crappy terrestrial radio). But thankfully, 2011 has seen a ‘nu’-resurgence of R&B. Granted its format has been flipped into a more intergalactic sound, but nonetheless it’s ‘back’ … and a large part of that may be due to the sounds of Drake, Frank Ocean & The Weeknd.
For the most part I have no problem with any of these dudes, but being a girl that grew up on female vocalists like Aaliyah, SWV, TLC & Brownstone (to name an illustrious few), I’ve been hoping & waiting for a dope chica to claim her stake at this now open throne. There are definitely a few contenders on my radar at the moment, (like Teresajenee & Mara Hruby); but last month a girl from Toronto name Rochelle Jordan landed in my headphones via her 1 minute & 39 second track “Earth To Your Brain” – which so nicely samples Kelis’ “Mars” – and instantly I had a new name to add to my list:
R O J O is an album that is different without really trying to be so. The sounds cohesively vary between ‘nu’ R&B, 90’s R&B, and just the right amount of electro. Then you have Rochelle’s warm vocals, which she playfully flexes within a range that doesn’t exceed its limit – as it pairs perfectly alongside [her producer] Klash’s dope beats. In fact, it’s the partnering between these two that makes the album worth a serious peep. As talented as Rochelle is, the same can be said for Klash. This partnership shines brightly on a few tracks – one particular standout being the Thom Yorke collabo, “Sleep” :[audio:http://www.thecouchsessions.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/03-Sleep-Feat-Thom-Yorke.mp3|titles=03 Sleep (Feat Thom Yorke)]
Rochelle Jordan Feat. Thome Yorke – “Sleep”
Another thing I like about R O J O is that Rochelle’s confidence and understanding of R&B is on the forefront. It’s pretty obvious that she is a fan of the kind of R&B you would find on radio a decade or two two ago, and she effortlessly gives you doses of this in the form of a slow jam with the song “Feel The Same Way;” with a little hip hop inspiration via the song “What I’m Sayin;” with a nice touch of early 2000’s nostalgia in “Stars Align” and “Shawty”- which is a mashup of the songs “My Boo” (Ghostown DJ’s) & “Swing My Way” (K.P & Envyi). I tip my Fedora to an artist who knows and embraces past sounds, but can make it her own at the same time.[audio:http://www.thecouchsessions.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/05-Shawty.mp3|titles=05 Shawty]
Rochelle Jordan – “Shawty”
I’m pretty certain that Rochelle Jordan has potential to really carve a place for herself in this industry and I’ll definitely be keeping my ear on her as her career evolves. Download R O J O here for FREE because without a doubt it is a very solid R&B album worth having. 8 outta 10[audio:http://www.thecouchsessions.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/13-Stars-Align.mp3|titles=13 Stars Align]
Rochelle Jordan – “Stars Align”