The Best You Never Heard returns this week featuring lesser known cuts by Ciara, Ne-Yo, the Sugababes and hit-maker Timbaland. Do you have any suggestions for future instalments? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ciara – So Hard
As I’ve detailed in the past, Ciara’s 2006 sophomore effort ‘The Evolution’ was indeed pretty solid, yet offered little in the way of what its title declared – evolution (from her first LP). That said, one of the album’s definite standout cuts was the Bryan Michael-Cox produced ‘So Hard’. Reminiscent of Cox’s now trademark ‘Crunk Ballad’ sound, the track IMO is right up there with the brilliance that is ‘Promise’. What Ciara lacks in vocal prowess, is compensated by the sheer emotion the song evokes. In simpler terms (lol), you both feel and believe what she’s singing. A must listen.
Listen: So Hard
Ne-Yo – Make It Work
Lifted from Ne-Yo’s 2007 effort ‘Because of You’, ‘Make It Work’ is all that we have to expect from a top notch ‘Ne-Yo’ track. Laced with lush harmonies and a killer hook, the song IMO would have made for a great single; something I’m pretty perplexed didn’t occur, considering it really was a smash hit just waiting to happen.
Listen: Make It Work
Sugababes – Freak Like Me
Undeniably the UK’s biggest and most talented girl group (I did say ‘talented’, so no Girls Aloud included lol), the Sugababes were able to secure such a position no doubt in part to the success of their 2002 hit ‘Freak Like Me’. A more edgier, rock-tinged (yet still Urban) spin on the Adina Howard classic, the track served as the ladies first #1 and remained at the top for four straight weeks. Good stuff.
Listen: Freak Like Me
Timbaland – Fantasy (ft. Money)
Following Timbaland’s return to prominence in 2006 as a producer on major releases by the likes of Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake, the hit-maker also asserted his place in the contemporary industry with the release of his 2007 LP ‘Shock Value’. Featuring many a collabo, it was ‘Fantasy’, sung by the relatively unknown Universal/Blackground artist Money, that was one of my personal favourites from the slightly overrated album. With its sensual, whimsical sound, the track is a slickly produced and solidly performed cut.
Listen: Fantasy (ft. Money)
Your thoughts: Hit(s) or Miss(es)?