Why I Love Repeat Pleasure and & It Was U

"Now that I've loved you
You know that I want it all the time
I say there's no one above you
But now there's a new bliss above that line
Now that I've known you,
The truth could never come without your smile
But I should've warned you,
We live as long as I leave 'em all behind
And an innocent sigh, I wanted all of this to never subside
I never wanna miss a moment of life, no no
Without your neck to kiss, I was thrown to the night
And now I know

Oh if you want it, guess you want it all baby
But once you got it you want something else
Even if you're holding on for something unchanging
Yeah, once it got it, you want something else

Oh if you want it, guess you want it all baby
But once you got it you want something else
Even if you're holding on for something unchanging
Yeah, once it got it, you want something else."

How To Dress Well is the new face of Blue Eyed Soul, and for good reason. The new R&B that has been ascendant since in and around 2011, has a place for everyone, not just black artists. How To Dress Well, also known as Tom Krell, has written some of the best songs of the new R&B. He has a canny understanding of emotionally powerful music, and easily sits alongside artists like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd, in raising a nearly dead genre up into creative vitality. Krell is someone who makes the case for white artists operating in traditionally black genres. He gives more than he takes, and benefits everyone who adores R&B, and quite a few who didn't before they heard him. I have selected two of my favourites, Repeat Pleasure and & It Was U, to have an old chat about.

Repeat Pleasure has one of the greatest choruses of the last few years. That beat, that lead vocal, and a lyric that always brings a tear to my eye. It is up there for me with Shy Girls' Still Not Falling and Gallant's Manhattan, for pure emotional oomph. Hold on, it'll be alright. The new R&B, also known as Noir R&B, is just as concerned with making emotionally direct music as its predecessors, while also bringing the genre into new territory with a more conflicted and darker range of topics. How To Dress Well is not particularly concerned with drugs or self medication, but he does have a quintessentially modern approach to music production. Repeat Pleasure sounds so fresh and full of vitality. It is a song about how we never quite know what we want, and how we can walk down a road for years and only then realize that this is not the path we should have chosen. "Even when we get what we wanted, this heart's break will never stop longing, PLEASURE repeats under no name.
Even broken, my heart will go on." This line makes me cry, when it shifts from the bridge back into the chorus, and a world of technicolor splendor opens up before us. Hold on.

Repeat Pleasure makes me want to dance with someone I love. Moving as the song's power builds up and then rushes headlong into the chorus with that savagely good beat. Those backing vocals giving relief from your emotional crisis. Noir R&B is concerned with, like its cinematic equivalent, impending doom. How To Dress Well subverts this by giving a hopeless situation hope. Can he still classified as Noir R&B? I say yes, because he is concerned with the dark side of life. The best Noir is not that which makes you feel miserable and terrified, it is a process that allows us to examine the dark side in our hearts and in doing so overcome it and become better human beings. Think of some of the greats: L.A. Confidential directed by Curtis Hanson, Key Largo directed by John Huston. Both show the trials of good men in a corrupt environment. Do they give up and let the evil in their hearts rule them? No, they carry on and try to make the world better, even if it's just a small improvement. This is what Repeat Pleasure is to me: a call to not lose heart, a call to stand up and follow your heart.

You don't have to call me out
My love will be there for you
And you don't have to worry out
Cause our love will be there for you, girl
Whenever you will call me
My love will be tear out
And when you have to wonder
Tonight love will be there for you, girl

Anytime you need me I will come back
Anytime you want me I will come back
Time is almost there I will come back
And it was you, my love was for come back
Said it was
Uh, it's all back
Said it was you
My love was to come back
Said it was you
Now I love can't even call you
Uh, it's sympathy is all true, baby"

& It Was U featured on the album Total Loss, released in 2012, perfectly timed to make an impact on the resilient and refreshed R&B. & It Was U is the standout track on that album, with its gorgeous falsetto vocal and a production that impresses every single time. I will come back. I will come back. Those finger snaps leading into the vocal, and then the kick drum comes in. The song builds slowly, adding texture as it goes. & It Was U pairs well with Repeat Pleasure as a song that uplifts, and leaves you in a better place. Sometimes the best feelings are the simple ones. "You don't have to worry, my love will be there for you." This is the sentiment of a best friend and a partner. Those stacked backing vocals make the song, wrapping you up and making you safe.

& It Was U is a song that speaks to a certain kind of love. Love that will wait and wait. It is a mixtape song that expresses hidden love to those who need it most. Well, you know, I kind of, pretty much actually love you and here is an AMAZING MIXTAPE to prove it! Put this song alongside Homie Lover Friend Remix by R. Kelly and Bring It On Home To Me by Sam Cooke, and witness a change. You don't have to worry. I am reminded of the extended mix of Feel U Up by Prince, where he says "In time of trouble I'll be right there on the double. Whatever U want, whatever U need, oh, baby, U can count on me. 'Cause I'm a funky man, a funky man." I will be there for you, no matter what.

How To Dress Well is one of the best R&B artists working, and someone who has with these two songs created art of a high quality. I recommend listening to "What Is This Heart?" first, and then exploring his other albums. "I never want to miss a moment alive without your neck to kiss." This is music that gives you a damn good reason to keep on going. It is music that says FUCK your problems, let's dance! Just think of the bridge into that chorus, let your body go and be the person you know you can be. "Even if you're holding on for something unchanging..."


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