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Can Cassie Reinvent Herself With Dance Song “King Of Hearts”?

Cassie "King Of Hearts" Bad Boy/Interscope Records

Cassie "King Of Hearts" Bad Boy/Interscope Records

After years of delay and industry politics Bad Boy Records’ Pop princess, Cassie is finally kicking things in to gear and preparing to release her still untitled second album later this year. Interest in the project was recharged after Bad Boy recently released her new Dance track, “King Of Hearts” “King Of Hearts” is the fourth single released that was intended to be connected to Cassie’s second album. But so far is the only single to actually make the track listing of the album, and is the first connected to the project under the Bad Boy/Interscope joint venture.

That album that was originally titled Electro Love originally started getting buzz back in June of 2007. MTV reported that despite the rumors, Cassie had not been dropped from Bad Boy Records, and in fact was was in the studio with Kanye West and Pharrell Williams for her second album. Rumors of Cassie’s departure with Bad Boy began when she actually parted ways with singer/song writer and producer, Ryan Leslie and his company, NextSelection Lifestyles Group. As a producer, Ryan was the creative force behind the direction of Cassie’s self titled debut album from 2006.  With that said, questioning Cassie’s future as a recording artist is understandable. It was in fact Ryan who brought Cassie to Bad Boy’s Sean “Diddy” Combs, after her single, “Me & U” became a huge club hit in Germany. However, since the Platinum certification of “Me & U”, and the release of her debut album from NextSelection/Bad Boy/Atlantic Records, Cassie became more closely associated with Diddy and Bad Boy’s camp, rather than Leslie and her former manager, Tommy Mottola..

When it came time for Bad Boy to start the process of working on Cassie’s second album, the label decided to take a different approach from the first album when dealing with the production process. Bad Boy A&R, Daniel ‘Skid’ Mitchell, interviewed with Hitquarters.com in 2010 and talked about how the label wanted to move away from largely relying on the one songwriter-producer.  The new album would be a mix of writers and producers, as well as her own co-writing, to help makes it a more personal record for her. At the time of that interview in October 2010, Skit had told Hitquarters.com that Cassie had recorded over 50 songs for the yet to be released album.

Promotion for that album in progress first began with the release of the album’s intended first single, “Official Gir”l in August of 2008. That single was the first away from her long time collaborator, Ryan Leslie. It was produced by Danja and The Clutch, both who at the time were still buzzing from their work with artists like Keri Hilson, Omarion, Justin Timberlake and others. Bad Boy and Atlantic put together a high profile music video for the song, complete with a guest spot from Rap star, Lil Wayne. Wayne, was added to the track  and video late in the game  to help breathe new life into its promotion. Despite the efforts, the song was not a hit and the project was delayed. Two more singles were released by Bad Boy under their deal with Atlantic, “Must Be Love” featuring Diddy (credited as Puff Daddy on that song), and “Let’s Get Crazy” featuring Akon. “Must Be Love” with Puffy peaked at number 42 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Chart, and prompted Bad Boy to release the Akon produced single, “Let’s Go Crazy” in August of 2009, However at that point Sean ‘Diddy” Combs’ partnership with Atlantic Records was coming to an end.

In September of 2009  Combs’ new deal for Bad Boy with Interscope caused what ever previous momentum Cassie’s “Let’s Go Crazy” had gained with Atlantic promotionally to stall.

Since then Cassie contributed two songs two Bad Boy’s 2011 mixtape, “The Preview.” Now Bad Boy and Interscope Records are helping build Cassie’s momentum back up with the release of the seductive Dance track, “King Of Hearts”. Unlike any of her work in the past, “King Of Hearts” has a Euro Pop/Dance/Electronica sound with almost no resemblance of her Hip Hop infused Pop/Rhythm sound of the past. The beat has been described as jungle-sounding, while Cassie’s vocals have an echo to them and a sensual delivery perfect for a Synth dominating club track. This comes  in a new age of  Pop Music becoming more and more driven by electronic House DJs, and less about Hip Hop/R&B. Cassie’s softly spoken voice almost is a better character in this new sound than on her previous work., Her vocals play the perfect role of aggressive sexuality like some Dance tracks, and even Disco tracks of the past.  Those vocals combined with the elevating production from J2 is getting Cassie some of the best reviews she has seen in years.

Marc Hogan of Spin Magazine compared the song to the music of European stars like Kylie Minogue and Robyn while contrasting it with Usher’s newer song “Climax”.

“Cassie’s song really does keep building from beginning to end, starting with staccato pinpricks of synth and handclaps soon joined by thudding, slightly syncopated drum programming”

Bradley Stern of MuuMuse also rated the song five out of five stars, ranking it higher than higher profile Dance/Pop songs. He writes

“It’s that kind of fresh, it’s that kind of innovative: The lyrics, the melodies, the song structure, the delivery, the beats–there’s not one part of this song that contains even a single molecular flaw.”

 

DJ Ron Slomowicz of About.com praised “King of Hearts” as

“a Dance track unlike anything on the radio.”

The Guardian also gave the song a glowing review by saying

“What’s striking about the track, is how it involves elements of nearly everything we’ve talked about. It has the ravey club-banger aspect, it has the innovative yet commercial edge of early 90s R&B, and it has enough sadness in her vocal to draw in the indie crowd. Put simply, it’s the best-sounding identity crisis I’ve heard for a while.”

Only time will tell if this is the hit Cassie so desperately needed, but upon its digital release on Valentine’s Day of 2012, the song’s popularity has grown immensely. Bad Boy/Imterscope is sending it out promotionally to Rhythmic radio formats tomorrow, March 13th, Let’s watch and see if this is what Cassie needed. Want to see what all the fuss is about? Take a look at her sexy video below. Keep checking in with us at Clizbeats.com  for more details on the release of Cassie’s now untitled second album hopefully now coming soon!

Cassie

“King Of Hearts”

Bad Boy/Interscope Records

 

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