Estelle, “American Boy”

Breezy, worldly, with a touch of East End slang, “American Boy” isn’t just a fine summer single, it’s a great example of R&B’s new post-disco vibe for the late aughts. Estelle’s voice brings to mind a wispier Lauryn Hill, but it works like gangbusters here, as she dreamily pictures Brooklyn as a hip mecca filled with 5-foot-7 guys who’re just her type. As for Kanye, the rap is one of his cleverer ones (“Dressed smart like a London Bloke/Before he speak, his suit bespoke”), suggesting that he liked Estelle enough not to phone it in. [YouTube]

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