Here’s two demos for two of DarkChild’s rare placements, as he doesn’t seem to be as in demand these days as he was throughout the 90s and early 2000s. Both tracks definitely hint at some sort of return to form for Rodney after a few years of lackluster compositions, he still stands as one of my alltime favourite R&B producers despite this. His production is a funky mix of electronics and slight elements of natural instrumentation (e.g. the guitar samples on both tracks) and this is definitely helped by the excellent writing from new DC associates Kalenna Haper (who is also making her artist debut as part of Diddy’s 3 piece band Dirty Money) and Osinachi Nwaneri, along with now modern DC veteran Cristyle adding her magic touch (and apparently a few vocals on this demo) to “Painted Windows”.
The demo to “Painted Windows” also illustrates how important vocal production, background vocals and arrangements and the like are to the final product as Nicole and Melody absolutely killed it with their ad-libs – although as Nicole has proved herself such a fantastic and adaptable vocalist time and time again, I shouldn’t really be surprised.
I still don’t think “Pucker Up” was the strongest track Ciara could have used for her project but either way I’m glad she placed a Darkchild/Kalenna/Osinachi track as I want to see the new school of the DC team shine, despite my continued mourning over the seeming loss of Delisha Thomas and the Birchett sisters – A Plus from the team. I’m still hoping Fred gets back working with LaShawn and Rodney to recreate their old magic as I’ve always believed he was a massive influence on the quality of Darkchild tracks, regardless the Brandy tracks have proven DC still has it in him to give us fire.
Finally, I dunno if I’m going crazy but does Rodney say “new Brit” at the start of “Pucker Up”?? Perhaps the track was originally intended for Britney’s “Circus”, we know for a fact DarkChild recorded tracks for the project so who knows? I can definitely see why Britney, who seems to demand nothing but the highest quality on her albums, didn’t place the track. Even though its not awful its just not good enough for a Brit album, although this or the fantastic Chris Brown/Danja track “Flamethrower” would have been much more welcomed than her shitty soppy vanity track “My Baby”, which I’ve still never listened to in full!