It's called 'I'll Take You There,' and it will make your workday one hundred percent smoother.
If you work in front of a computer all day, you probably have your earbuds in all day, too. But you're listening to the same boring Spotify playlists and the crap you've had in your iTunes since college. The radio has too many commercials and is too repetitive, and Pandora's algorithm just doesn't quite get you. Enter "I'll Take You There," aka NPR&B, the sexy antidote to the same old-same old. Yes, that NPR, which was never your source for soulful sounds until now.
"I'll Take You There" is curated and hosted for NPR Music by Jason King, a faculty member at the Clive Davis Institute at New York University and incredibly knowledgeable R&B listener. He functions like an old-school radio DJ, programming the songs with an ear for flow and context, and interrupting every once in a while to offer some commentary or history. And it is a historical playlist, spanning from R&B's origins in the 1940s to present day, and includes all the subgenres, styles, and offshoots that fall under the R&B umbrella: doo-wop, Motown, soul, funk, new jack swing, freestyle, neo-soul, and on and on for literally thousands of hours. Shockingly, there are very few duds.
For example, a few hours of listening will take you from John Legend and Andre 3000's "Green Light" (from 2008, an era when a new Three Stacks guest verse was like sighting the Loch Ness Monster) to Gil Scott-Heron's "Winter in America" into Lenny Kravitz's "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over," which served as a reminder that Cinna, before he devolved into self-parody, was a formidable soul man. There's then a short break where Jason King sets up "Settle Down," a fantastic song from the super-underrated Kimbra that has one of my all-time favorite videos (Lorde stole Kimbra's Kiwi thunder, but Kimbra is better). The song should have been a hit, and Jason King knows it. "Settle Down" segues into "Erotic City," the quintessential dirty Prince jam, and then Marvin Gaye's immortal "Inner City Blues."
NPR&B will make your day & night better, so tune in and feel the quiet storm.
Image via i.am.leon.