An exquisite exposition of both forward-thinking and vintage R&B...

Since Ty Dolla $ign first broke onto the scene in 2012 with the first of his now synonymous 'Beach House' trilogy, the Los Angeles singer-songwriter and producer has become renowned for his penchant for ingenious songwriting, his gravelly vocals, and musical touch in general, in and amongst some of your favourite tracks from your favourite artists in one form or another, often elevating them to another level in the subtlest of ways.

Meanwhile, Chicago native Jeremih has clocked up almost a decade in the game from the moment he dropped his debut single 'Birthday Sex' - a top-five, three time Platinum hit - which is no easy feat, and is still one of the go-to stars within post-2000 R&B, having worked with some of the biggest acts in the industry, his angelic vocals instantly recognisable on a track, making both artists modern day elites of the genre in their own right.

It's no surprise then to see the two heavyweights bond over their shared love of classic R&B and use it for inspiration when making this album. Executive produced by LA-via-Chicago producer Hitmaka (Yung Berg), the production is almost like the best of both worlds, creating avenues and opportunities for the two singers to display both their distinct styles.

In a time where R&B is largely ruled by moody, dark and more recently trap and hip-hop influenced worlds, it is refreshing to see two veterans of the modern era embrace these new styles but also incorporate what's come before, not only production wise, but also in their approach to delivery.

This is the first full body of work presented by the pair, building on their obvious musical chemistry, and it doesn't disappoint. Over eleven tracks, 'MIH-TY' is a 2018 R&B masterclass, providing bedroom mood music that is colourful and vibrant enough to not need to be refrained strictly for intimate settings, but it all feels safely within their comfort zones.

Instead of seizing the chance to truly make a mark, they instead decided to remix and modernise older, established hits rather than push the boundaries of their own artistry and create classics of their own, which would have been well within their pool of talent to do. That doesn't make the project bad by any means but it does slightly curve the innovative-ness of the pairs good work which is executed to perfection.

As a collection of songs, it wonderfully serves its purpose as a provocative, sultry, yet fun, body of work that, while covering familiar subject matter (sex, women, alcohol and all things pertaining to the opposite sex) showcases the quality of their penmanship with a range of sing-a-long hooks and vibe-filled verses with enough variation to demand multiple presses of the replay button.

While there is no denying that putting Ty Dolla $ign and Jeremih together is a winning formula in any capacity, having gifted fans with eleven out of a total of over sixty songs filled with riffs, runs, harmonies and melodies, maybe on the sequel we'll see them push themselves and the boundaries of R&B and truly take things to a "new level".


Words: Aaron Bishop

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