Riley - Crowded Room
What has Black Jays singer Darryl Riley been up to since he brought us the Kardinal Offishall-assisted Boom Boom back in March? Quite a bit, actually. Though the T-Dot native’s forthcoming full-length has yet to receive a title or solid release date, the artist has cut his stage name down to the slimmer (and harder to Google) Riley, and he’s also… picked up the Auto-Tune?! No, your ears don’t deceive you; new single Crowded Room (making its world premiere in the Booth!) is drenched in the infamous effect but, studio assistance or no, the artist’s soulful vocals shine. Backed by Soundsmith‘s stark, driving synth/handclap accompaniment, the rising R&B star spits game to an alluring female, hoping to separate her from the pack for a little alone time. With a catchy chorus and a beat guaranteed to get bodies moving, this track has plenty to recommend it to club-pop heads, but the question remains: did D.O.A. truly drive a stake through Auto-Tune’s heart, or can a record prominently featuring the effect still succeed on its own merits? Debate away!