Cassie’s followup to her 2006 debut has been continually pushed back throughout the past two years but her latest, “Radio,” isn’t any indication that she’s slipped into a sophomore slump. Appearing on a Bad Boy mixtape at the end of last week, “Radio” is built from the lost-love ballads of Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child, and TLC-- which Cassie nods to throughout the song-- and the beat of Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones (Part II).”
While Mobb Deep and R&B girl groups might seem thematically far apart, a grim narrative about an imbalanced relationship and the scars it’s left her binds the two together. Fabolous’ verse adds cohesion too, where he sets up Cassie’s refrain, “You can learn from the songs on the radio.” This microcosmic plot works well on “Radio” but, with a little more agency, Cassie could stand with the groups she sings of. Here’s hoping that happens on “King of Hearts,” the first single due out in 2012 from her impending LP, Electro Love.