1. What are you hoping/expecting to see in the bottom-6? Not a fan of Sneaky Links, sorry to say! Other than that there's not really anything here that I feel that strongly about wanting to see at the bottom.
2. What do you think made the top-6? Hopefully Jazmine! Probably We Made It. Snoh tends to do well in these r&b rankdowns. I'll stop there because I'm really just shooting in the dark here.
3. Pulse and their female singer bias remains deeply rooted. There are SIX songs here with male lead vocals; how many do you think will make the top-10? Which one will go farthest? (For reference: Been Through That; Good Love; Lessons; Pressure; When You Love Someone; Why Don't You Touch Me) Tone Stith legit just sounds like a huskier H.E.R., so that lol. I'm crossing fingers that Why Don't You Touch Me does well and Good Love has potential, but honestly not sure I see any men other than Tone Stith making the top 10. We'll see if Pulse surprises me this time!
4. What were your favorite discoveries? My #2-5 songs. And while I don't have them super high on this list, I found the Shindellas intriguing as a concept so I'm going to check out more of their stuff when I get a chance.
Haitus Kaiyote said hermaphroditic creatures deserve love songs, too! Chivalry Is Not Dead, taken from their new album Mood Valiant, was inspired by the mating rituals of leopard slugs and seahorses.
"After we did [our second album] Choose Your Weapon, we had to make radio edits of our songs, and all of our shit is like six or seven minutes long! So ‘Chivalry’ was me fucking with the ‘hit record’ formula. I’m gonna write a song that’s 3:40 long, and it’s about sex, but I’m gonna make it fucking weird. Examples from the natural world that are fucking with the status quo." - Nai Palm (Rolling Stone, June 2021)
Messy Love is the third release from NAO's impending third album (the release date yet to be announced). She released Woman with Lianne La Havas last year and followed it with Antidote featuring Adekunle Gold at the top of this year.
Eric Roberson is the self-proclaimed king of independent R&B. After a failed deal with Warner in the early 90s, he went on to form his own Blue Erro Soul label in the early 2000s and has self-released 14 projects to date; he also earned two Grammy nominations in the now-defunct Best Urban/Alternative Performance category and co-wrote Vivian Green's 2002 hit Emotional Rollercoaster.
Lessons is the first single from his 15th album slated to arrive by year's end.
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