In the wake of the amazing surprise news that Darin has reworked Just Dance for his new album (or perhaps Just Dance reworked Darin – if anyone knows please comment!), I decided to pursue another similar suspicion that I’d had. The new Akon single for the UK is Right Now (Na Na Na) and for anyone who either took a holiday in Southern or Eastern Europe about 5 years ago or is obsessed with the music of said countries, it will sound pretty familiar. I thought that Akon had just stolen right out from under the noses of The Underdog Project, but in fact it is a legitimate reworking of their hit Remember. The even stranger thing about it is that Remember is not even their best song. You’d think he could have listened to a few more on YouTube and realised the immense superiority of Summer Jam!
Then again, listening now it does sound worryingly like it could have been sung by Dane Bowers, but at least that proves once and for all that even the UK is years ahead of America musically. I have in fact noticed more and more male r’n’b acts opting for a European sound lately, such as Ne-Yo and Kanye West, although none of them have made anything great yet (Chris Brown got closest with Forever). It’s clear that electro-r’n’b is the new big thing, but there’s also been a definite move towards poppiness and actually bothering to make choruses catchy, the previous lack of which has always been the main problem with r’n’b music. I was listening to my top singles of 2008 the other day, trying to get them in order for my forthcoming end of the year chart, and I realised that most of the contenders for my no.1 favourite were r’n’b songs. With American Idol churning out some fantastic r’n’b-pop acts in Jordin Sparks and David Archuleta, plus ‘the Rihanna effect’ producing loads of fab new girl popstars, I’m definitely finding myself more into r’n’b than any other genre (apart from pop, if it counts) these days.