Heavy Rotation: 10 Love Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Feb 19, 2014
Originally published on February 24, 2014 11:07 am

Heavy Rotation is a monthly sampler of public radio personalities' favorite songs. Check out past editions here.

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And time now for our music project, Heavy Rotation. Each month, NPR Music asks public radio hosts and DJs to pick a favorite new song. NPR Music then compiles a list of those songs and posts it on our website, and each month, we feature one of those songs here on MORNING EDITION. Today, we're going to hear from the host and curator of NPR Music's newest Internet radio channel. It's a nonstop R&B stream called I'll Take You There. And what goes better with Valentine's Day than a little R&B?



JASON KING, BYLINE: My name is Jason King, and my pick for heavy rotation is "No More," by Jeremih.


JEREMIH: (Singing) Hey, let me look. Hey, turn it up.

KING: Jeremih is an R&B singer from Chicago. He's released a couple of albums, and he's also done a mixtape. He is now about to release a new EP with an experimental producer whose name is Shlomo. And this song, I wanted to present, because I think, in a lot of ways, it represents the new R&B popular in 2014.


JEREMIH: (Singing) I know your name. Tell me who you're really waiting for. I know you know...

KING: One of the things that's interesting about Jeremih is that he brings together three different strands of R&B music of the past. The first is the lover-man tradition of the 1970s - Barry White, Marvin Gaye, that seductive, come on music. He also brings in the '90s freaky R&B tradition that was represented by R. Kelly, where it was much more carnal and explicit. And then the third strand is the kind of confessional R&B that's popular today, which is much more moody and melancholic and dark and minimalist.


JEREMIH: (Singing) Just admit it you got it, baby. Ain't you ready to go? And you're ready, you know it, lady. Tell me, baby, I know.

KING: It has a gritty texture to it. It's experimental and a little bit lo-fi, but I think that's part of the nature of how the song constructs its own mystery.


JEREMIH: (Singing) I don't want to wait. I don't want to wait. No, no.

KING: This is not your typical Valentine's Day song. This is not the song that you play at your wedding. But it's intimate, and it has a very kind of hypnotic, rapturous quality to it. And that's really why I included it.


INSKEEP: And that's Jason King, host of I'll Take You There, NPR Music's new 24-hour soul R&B stream. Boy, don't you want to sing that line when you say it - (Singing) I'll take you there. He's talking about his pick for Heavy Rotation: "No More" by Jeremih. And you can find a complete list of Heavy Rotation picks at Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.