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NPR Music

Ari Lennox, 'Pressure'

Following the release of her highly-anticipated debut album, 2019's Shea Butter Baby, vocalist Ari Lennox has returned with another single, "Pressure" – a half-Motown, half-808s fantasia about being the center of attention during foreplay. Lennox's vocals slide over a bouncy, playful groove courtesy of a simple bass line sampled from Shirley Brown's 1977 single, "Blessed Is The Woman (With A Man Like Mine)." (Behind the fresh soundscape is R&B superteam The Ocean Boys, featuring producer Jermaine Dupri with songwriting titans Bryan-Michael Cox and Johnta Austin.) On "Pressure," the Dreamville Records signee elevates her status as a neo-soul touchstone, referencing the soul divas before her and leading the way for those to come with fearless, intoxicating charm.

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