At its best R&B is slick and succinct, it needs a certain sophistication in its production but a simple and direct contact with the listener. These are exactly the strengths that Last Night, the latest track from L.A. based artist AB plays too. A measured and clean-limbed beat gently moves the song along, whilst cool minimalist sonic enhancements and distant sounds wash through.
But such a song is nothing without the right vocal prowess and AB has this covered, and then some. Without forcing the point his delivery wanders from the understated, hushed and almost conversational to some unexpected highs. And whilst there is some smooth and deft guitar lines exploring the space between the beat and the lyrics, a lot of what this song is built on is atmosphere, as if the music is mainly there to harness emotion, anticipation and a whole host of intangible qualities – a sonic bubble, shimmering, translucent and delicate.
The phrase “less is more” might be a cliché, but clichés are there for a reason and it is a term that is actually very relevant here. Most artists concentrate on what they need to add to enhance a song, AB, I feel is more about knowing what to leave out.