1- Hinda Hicks – Love It
The recent Big Reunion show has reignited my interest in some of my favourite artists from the late 90s, especially after catching all the drama with The Honeyz. They came around in 1998, the same year I got into R&B. Partly responsible was another newcomer that year, in Tunisian born Hinda Hicks, who scored 4 top 40 hits that year. Since then a comeback has been attempted on 3 occasions, to little fanfare. Never-the-less, the tracks, although somewhat sporadically do keep coming and the latest is this almost tribal Summery tune with all the energy and optimism of her earlier work.
2- Serebro – Gun
Russian 3 piece, Serebro had some minor club success last year with the release of their single ‘Mamma Lover’, after featuring heavily in the advertising promo for All Around The World records’ latest Clubland compilation. Thanks to being signed to the label that gave us Flip & Fill, Cascada and Ultrabeat through the 00s, we could see them continuing to launch their unashamed sassy Europop for the foreseeable future, though for now they seem destined to still be mostly remembered for their 2007 Eurovision entry.
3- Platnum – Love You Tomorrow
Manchester Drum & Bass trio, Platnum are best known for their late 00’s hits ‘Love Shy’ and ‘What’s It Gonna Be’ (with H2O), but over a dozen flop singles later, and they’ve taken a change of tact, jumping on the Club R&B bandwagon, perhaps just as it’s about to collapse. This is a nice simple track with a decent vocal that looks to at last pull them away from the tinny chavs-at-the-back-of-the-bus sound of their earlier hits.
4 – Baauer – Harlem Shake
The current dance trend sweeping the planet is pure genius. Hundreds of ‘Harlem Shake’ videos have been hitting YouTube over the last few weeks, each showing a single person doing a simple dance move alone, with little going on around them, until the beat drops and all chaos breaks loose all of a sudden. The track itself is quite basic with an electro-baseline, snares, lion roars and occasional yell of “con los terroristas”. The craze has just begun and will only grow further as it shoots towards the UK #1.
5 – Nelly – Hey Porsche
Mostly remembered for his 2002 hit ‘Hot In Herre’, Nelly actually boasts 3 UK #1’s and that wasn’t even one of them. Now over a decade in the industry, he’s back with the first release from his forthcoming 7th studio album M.O. Nelly has always had 2 definite styles, the club banger (Hot In Herre, Flap Your Wings) and the Hip Hop ballad (Over & Over, Dilemma). But this time he manages to aim somewhere between the 2. A track that craves the arrival of Summer, it happily rolls along with Nelly almost singing along in tune to it.