I never fully understood the appeal of the whole R’n’B revivial that’s been going on in the last few months. Between the likes of Drake and The Weeknd, the impetus seemed to be on taking a genre I’d never been interested in (apart from Wayne Wonder, obviously) and making it slightly less accessible. The “dark”, “sexy” aesthetic did nothing for me except make music that, as Daniel Kitson so eloquently made clear, “legitimates countless cases of statutory rape” slightly more sinister.
Then I heard Wise Blood’s ‘Loud Mouths’, a song that does everything that this new strain of R’n’B should have been doing all along. Whilst retaining its characteristic groove, ‘Loud Mouths’ throws in esoteric production, falsetto vocals Prince would be proud of and, most importantly, pays homage to the genre R’n’B acronymically ripped its title from by working around a piano sample that calls back to another musical era altogether. It’s a glorious pastiche that sounds old and new all at once. Time will tell whether Wise Blood can pull it off again, but as an opening statement, there’s not been many better in the last few years.
PS. That voice saying “scream… again” at the start of the song sounds unnervingly like me.