Slow Jams Essentials

Slow Jams Essentials

Feelings of sincerity, tenderness, and sensuality are what listeners seek from great slow jams—and that's exactly what they get from the leaders of the form. While the term itself is elastic enough to include R&B ballads of many eras, the slow jam is epitomized by a more contemporary variety of love song whose rich, deep texture bears a hip-hop influence yet still boasts the sultry feel and slower tempo that allows for a full expression of emotion. For divas like Mariah Carey and Beyoncé, the key to making slow jams that connect is about balancing subtle inflections with more impassioned moments. Smooth crooners such as Marvin Gaye and Maxwell know what a falsetto can do to turn listeners into objects of desire. No matter what means these singers use, their straightforwardness and use of buttery grooves make for slow jams that go straight to the heart of the matter.

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