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R. Kelly's latest, and more

New music from the Pied Piper of R&B, R. Kelly, plus Stephen Marley (featuring Damian ”Jr. Gong” Marley), Papercuts, Field Music, and Timbuktu

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R. Kelly

R. Kelly’s latest, and more

R. KELLY, ”Don’t Let Go”
Nobody does sex-crazed lunacy quite as brilliantly as the self-appointed Pied Piper of R&B, but it’s reassuring to hear from his more sensitive side once in a while. This lovestruck ballad, from the soundtrack of Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, arrives just in time for your Valentine’s Day mix. ”I wanna change your name to my name,” Kells croons sweetly: It’s pop music’s best marriage proposal since Justin Timberlake’s ”My Love.” (Buy it on iTunes.)

Two summers ago, the Marley clan resumed its rightful role as reggae’s ambassadors to the world with young scion Damian’s killer single ”Welcome to Jamrock.” This collaborative cut from his older brother Stephen’s debut (out March 20) couldn’t sound more different: Where ”Jamrock” was an unmistakable throwback to the slow-burning roots grooves of their late father’s heyday, this one’s a hip, hectic 21st-century experiment. As the siblings trade rapid rhymes over a squeaky dancehall riddim, it’s clear that Bob left them more than enough talent to go around. (Buy it on iTunes or stream it on Stephen’s MySpace.)

PAPERCUTS, ”John Brown”
Papercuts is the nom de folk-rock of San Francisco-based artist Jason Quever, whose second album hits stores March 6. He’s signed to Gnomonsong — a little label co-owned by bohemian idol Devendra Banhart — so it’s no surprise that his music has a certain woozy, retro feel that’s reminiscent of Banhart’s own. This new number sounds like it could have been recorded by Buffalo Springfield on a particularly late night 40 years ago. (Download it from Gnomonsong’s website.)

FIELD MUSIC, ”In Context”
This trio from the north of England won raves with the layered, energetic indie-pop sound of their 2005 debut. The first single from their follow-up album Tones of Town (due Feb. 20) opens on a muted, metronomic note, but it doesn’t take long for the band to start splicing in guitar hooks and a string section. By the time the song is over, they’ve burst into a full-blown melodic frenzy. (Download it from EW.com.)

TIMBUKTU, ”Karmakontot”
Unless you’re fluent in Scandinavian slang, you’ll have no clue what Sweden’s hottest rapper is talking about on his new single. You won’t care, either, once you hear the way he rides the syncopated acoustic beat: Timbuktu’s nimble, singsong flow needs no translation. In this global age, he deserves to be a worldwide star. (Buy it on iTunes, stream it at Timbuktu’s MySpace, or check out a live performance on YouTube.)