Various Artists

R&B Collection [2010]

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AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien

Highlighting the dominance of the genre in 2010, Universal's R&B Collection, one of countless retrospectives competing for the self-respecting urban fan stocking-filler market, features six number one singles, from both home-grown acts (JLS' "The Club Is Alive," Taio Cruz's "Dynamite") and international superstars (Usher's "OMG," Rihanna's "Only Girl in the World"). Alongside the chart-toppers, there are also huge hits from Timbaland feat. Katy Perry, Nelly, and the ubiquitous will.i.am., club anthems from Kelly Rowland, Jay Sean, and Tinchy Stryder, and lesser-known material from the likes of Luigi Masi, Donae'o, and Incisive. Highlights from the first disc include the David Guetta-style dance-pop of Chipmunk's "Look for Me," Tinie Tempah's grime crossover "Pass Out," and the old-skool breakbeats of Aggro Santos' "Saint or Sinner," while Alicia Keys' gorgeously soulful "Unthinkable (I'm Ready)," Shontelle's epic power ballad "Impossible," and Devlin's string-led breakthrough "Runaway" provide the standouts from Disc Two. B.o.B and Roll Deep, who both scored two huge number ones in 2010, are notable by their absence, as are fellow hitmakers Flo Rida, Jason Derulo, and Bruno Mars, while the likes of Lady Gaga's Ace of Base-esque "Alejandro," and Cheryl Cole's Gallic-fused pop number "Promise This" are puzzling inclusions which seem out of place among the rest of the more relevant urban material. Of course, with contributions from Justin Bieber, JLS and Alexandra Burke, R&B Collection 2011 is always going to appeal to a more commercial, less-discerning audience, but despite its chart-friendly track listing, its several big-name omissions means it fails to paint the full picture of the scene's hugely successful year.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Rihanna 03:55 Amazon
2 Cheryl 03:22 Amazon
3 Jay Sean 03:43 Amazon
4 will.i.am 03:57 Amazon
5 Taio Cruz 03:22 Amazon
6 JLS 03:34 Amazon
7 Tinie Tempah 03:56 Amazon
8 Skepta 02:53 Amazon
9 The Black Eyed Peas 03:59 Amazon
10 Lloyd / Young Money 03:16 Amazon
11 Big Boi / Cutty Cartel 03:35 Amazon
12 Ludacris 03:28 Amazon
13 Timbaland 04:53 Amazon
14
Aggro Santos 03:03 Amazon
15 Donae'o 03:30 Amazon
16 Alexandra Burke 03:48 Amazon
17 Chipmunk 03:25 Amazon
18 Layz 03:42 Amazon
19 Akon / Glasses Malone / Kylian Mash / Luigi Masi 03:33 Amazon
20 David Guetta / Kylian Mash / Kelly Rowland 03:27 Amazon
21
Damian Marley / Nas / Kelly Rowland 03:38 Amazon
22 Damian Marley / Nas 02:29 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 N-Dubs / N-Dubz 03:58 Amazon
2 Ne-Yo 03:58 Amazon
3 Alicia Keys 04:10 Amazon
4 Nelly 03:56 Amazon
5 Tinchy Stryder 03:26 Amazon
6
OMG
Usher 04:28 Amazon
7 Chris Brown 04:34 Amazon
8
Shontelle 03:44 Amazon
9 Devlin / Devlin & Yasmin 03:27 Amazon
10 Drake 03:25 Amazon
11 Juelz Santana 04:22 Amazon
12 Keri Hilson 03:39 Amazon
13 Lady Gaga 03:57 Amazon
14 Timbaland 03:53 Amazon
15 Justin Bieber 03:20 Amazon
16 Mohombi 03:21 Amazon
17 Rick Ross 03:49 Amazon
18 Justin Bieber 03:35 Amazon
19 Incisive 03:38 Amazon
20
Frisco / McLean 03:10 Amazon
21 Mary J. Blige 03:30 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick