As October fades into the rear view mirror and hints of winter start to pop up, there’s one trend that we always seem to notice as we head into winter: slower, more romantic songs are perfect for creating a sense of warmth and intimacy for even the most banging parties. After all, most people want a good range of variety when celebrating at such romantic venues as Nanina’s in the Park and The Park Savoy and slowing down the tempo and turning up the sexy vibes is always a must. So without further ado, here are some of our essential slow jams for the season, with a heavy focus on recent R&B.


ILoveMakonnen – “Wishing You Well”

While the Atlanta-based crooner and rapper ILoveMakonnen has been turning out party-friendly slow jams for years now, seeing that 2014 has been a banner year for the young artist, we’ve been recently treated to a plethora of new material as he continues to work with many of the hottest producers in the game. As such, pairing up with super producer MikeWiLLMadeIt on the slow-burning, eastern-inflected “Wishing You Well” has been the undisputed highlight of his recent crop of songs, with his raw, but affecting vocals are given smooth-as-silk production that will put people in the mood for romance in no time.


Usher – “Climax”

Although this song has been an undisputed R&B highlight from the past two years, the breathtaking production and Usher’s yearning yet confident vocals still make this a guaranteed track to amp up the sexy vibes at any party. This is a song that is a near-legendary exercise in tension-and-release with each verse hinting at coming to the titular ‘climax,’ but with Diplo behind the boards, the song instead casts an otherworldly aura that will have your party itching for more, which leads us to….


R. Kelly – “Ignition (Remix)”

Eleven years on from when this belter first took over radio and DJ sets across the country, this is a surefire number to truly get a crowd warmed up. While its tempo and evocative lyrics might make one assume it’s a by-the-numbers R&B jam, R. Kelly’s ineffable ability to make even the sexiest material perfect for peak-time partying has cemented this absolute classic as the perfect song for bringing sexy back while still keeping the party popping. And chances are that your crowd will be singing along to every word in the song; no wonder there was once a petition to make this the song the national anthem!


Ciara – “Body Party”

To be honest, in terms of recent Ciara slow-burning bangers, both “Body Party” and 2010’s “Ride” are both ideal tracks for bringing the vibe down and getting everyone in the mood to slow dance. But in terms of end-of-the-night romantic jams, “Body Party” is truly a tough one to beat, with the beat echoing some of the finest 90s R&B production and Ciara once again stealing the show, cooing and seducing the listener into her world where it’s sexy time all the time and we’re all along for the ride. Truly the perfect track to close out your party on a smooth and sultry note.