No matter how scattered and seemingly Frankenstein’d the state of the music industry might make the nature of modern creation seem, one thing remains (mostly) true: More often than not, the right combinations of producer and artist lead to the best music. Waning are the days when an “effective” label strategy entailed tapping Pharrell and Timbaland (or another super-producer du jour) to drain your budget with lead singles before leaving your friends to fill out the rest of your album. The formula still exists, but albums like YG’s My Krazy Life serve as reminders that sonic and aesthetic consistency are the domain of artists and producers who are truly in sync. It’s not a fool proof formula, but, time and again, the strongest songs come out of the most focused pairings.
Swedish singer Snoh has the distinct benefit of working consistently with legendary producer No I.D., a fact borne out by new single “Bad Things.” There’s a simplicity to “Bad Things” reminiscent of early 90s hip-hop soul, head nod-inducing drums and simple arrangements offsetting R&B vocals. Snoh plays the role deftly atop No I.D.’s production and across from Common. It never burns much beyond a simmer, but it avoids anachronism while pulling from the past to enjoyable effect.