Talk A Good Game is Kelly Rowland’s coming of age album. And this one is all about self-rule. This time around, she allows our minds to finally move past the undying elephant in the room: who is Kelly Rowland outside of the shadow of Destiny’s Child’s most successful member? She shows us with this new album as she unabashedly establishes her self-awareness, sexual identity, and individualism.
In a way that’s slightly odd, the verses on this album are very conversational. It’s as if the lyrics have been drawn from a lunch conversation with a girlfriend and are being recited in song rather than having been arranged as lyrics. Lack of organization is something that plagues most of the album’s 15 tracks, but this is likely a testament to Rowland’s attempt to stop at nothing to convey an open and honest project. The problem is that the lyrics remain stale; especially if this is the music she wants us to get to know her by.
Talk A Good Game opens up with “Freak,” an overtly sexual song that sings “Everybody’s somebody’s freak/The question is, who’s to you?” But still, the song remains less than enticing. “Dirty Laundry,” famously the album’s realest track, is a cheap attempt to shed light on the insecurities that plagued her during Destiny’s Child’s reign. We have to commend her for taking a stab at honesty, even if the song arrangement is lackluster, though somehow it remains a little catchy. And the washing machine related metaphors are clever.
“Red Wine” is a good cut. It’s smooth and silky, and perhaps one of the album’s best.
Although supersized synths occasionally make an appearance, we can’t help but fathom how Talk A Good Game isn’t completely reflective of the times. It sounds rather, like a female rendering of Chris Brown’s music pre-Rihanna. It’s jovial and even a little bubblegum with quintessential R&B instrumentation to mask the simply linear lyrics. It was cute in 2006, but a curious choice for a 30-something year-old woman with so many lived experiences by 2013.
The collaborations are cool. And it’s nice to not feel overwhelmed by an album full of features. It’s in this way that Kelly Rowland doesn’t cheat us out of listening to a Kelly Rowland album. Pusha T makes an appearance on “Street Life” and The Dream on “Sky Walker.” It’s nice to hear from them on their respective tracks, although neither of which are completely memorable. And all in all, Talk A Good Game could have been much better than it is. It’s okay. But not as hot as her album cover.
Destiny’s Child was a powerhouse in pop music when they were around in the early 2000’s. Since then Beyonce has been the main artist from that group to go on to major success. Kelly Rowland is a very underrated artists out of the Destiny Child group that has put out 2 major albums. Her third Here I Am is making a splash in the pop music world, and for good reason.
Here I Am is an reintroduction into Rowland’s solo career. The music isn’t ground breaking, no anything special, but the music is good enough to make a fan love the album. With all that she has been through, it’s nice to see her back with Here I Am.
The record is very catchy, with pop anthems like “Lay it on Me” and some beautiful tracks like “Keep It Between Us. The album is balanced like a record should be. There are a few stand outs on the album. The Two perfect club tracks, “Commander” and “Down For Whatever”. Those songs had me banging my head and pumping my fists as if I was club hopping in the city. Another stand out would be her collaboration with Lil Wayne. Anybody who does a track with Wayne always adds a unique touch to the song.
Rowland’s teams up with other artists that are hot right now in the industry, like Lil Playy, Big Sean, and Rico Love. Like state above, the album is a perfect balance. There are no clunkers, as each track offers something different.
Here I Am is Rowland’s best album to date and is a must buy among her fans. If you are not a fan of her music or the genre in general, you should still give the record a shot. Close mindedness is a terrible thing, and this record is a great example of good pop music. Its music that you could play over and over and not get tired of.
Here I Am is available now through Universal Motown. Kelly will be on the FAME tour with Chris Brown starting on September 12th in Toronto.
On Sunday (July 15), Kelly Rowland collapsed onstage in Lagos, Nigeria, where she was performing at the ThisDay Music Festival. According to a press release sent the day afterwards, the reason was dehydration. Rowland was taken to a local hospital and is currently in good condition.
According to TMZ, Dave Chappelle also caused a bit of a commotion this past weekend. While his rep says that he was sent to the emergency room for “physical exhaustion,”–where he was treated with “food, water and sleep” for 12 hours then sent home–various people called into DC 101’s “Elliot in the Morning” radio show with different stories. One caller said he saw Chappelle in detox in Prince William County saturday night, where the comedian “thought he was on a reality show. He thought everybody was an actor. It was crazy.” Another caller, a local law enforcement officer, said Chappelle was admitted into the ER and “ended up escaping.” A third caller said he was currently locked in a padded room at Prince William hospital.