The weary can rest easier: As long as native New Yorker DJ Cassidy is in the game, true disciples of dance-inflected soul music can be assured there will be some light in the darkness that is big-box, homogenized R&B. The critically acclaimed wunderkind who has deejayed for everyone from President Obama to Diddy wins again with the R. Kelly collaboration “Make the World Go Round,” the second single from his forthcoming long player Paradise Royale.
The track, with its percolating bass, guitar riffs and Kelly vocal musings, is a wink at the plush grooves of labels like Prelude and West End that brilliantly straddled the fence between pop-soul and disco. Like the criminally underrated “Calling All Hearts” – a gem featuring Robin Thicke and Jessie J – the song illuminates Cassidy’s appreciation for the era and his passion for channeling it with a love and authenticity missing from the vast majority of today’s R&B and club cuts. His opening set on Thicke’s Blurred Lines Tour was a rousing swirl of tuneful energy that segued everything from Chic’s “I Want Your Love” to DeBarge’s “Rhythm of the Night” in a joyous, crowd-pleasing tribute to the golden era of black music. His recorded output is a reflection of those melodies of love.
Paradise Royale reportedly features contributions from legends like Patrice Rushen and members of Raydio and Earth, Wind and Fire – and if “Make the World Go Round” is any indication of its wares, a real treat is in store for discerning listeners. Essential spring and summer listening.
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