In an age where pretty much anyone reading this could whisper over a moody 808s beat and pay an engineer a grip to make it sound passable, warm, soulful R&B is hard to come by–why else would the world clamoring so hard for Frank Ocean? New Jersey singer Ehiorobo is an outlier, and his “Heir to the Sugar Honey Queen” is just one exhibit of his teeming musical palette.
In just the first 30 seconds of the track he endears with earnest crooning over jazzy keys and jittery drums. The track then breaks up the vocals with a half talking, half rhyming stanza before playful synths and other elements make way onto to the track. One would be pleased if the track stretched the beginning into a traditional structure, but Ehiorobo is too inventive for that route on this particular song. Each progression brings in a new element, a new twist to. Perhaps the versatility of the track is meant to be a synesthetic mirror of the myriad appeal of his love interest.
The song is fun, it’s irreverent, and somehow manages to make the only comparison of a woman to bruschetta that isn’t abhorrently crass. Underneath the playfulness is a palpable zest in Ehiorobo’s vocals that belies what makes R&B so.appealing. Thanks to the Sugar Honey Queen for inspiring a track that meshes fresh elements with jazzy, smooth R&B.