K. Michelle: Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?

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Posted January 27, 2015 by in r&b
kmichelle-album-01-header

Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

4/ 5

Details

Genre: ,
 
Producer: , , , , ,
 
Label:
 
 
 
 
Genre: R&B, soul
 
Producer: Andrew 'Pop' Wansel, Warren 'Oak' Felder, Shea Taylor, Eric Hudson, Andrew 'Hitdrew' Clifton, Jesse "Corparal" Wilson
 
Label: Atlantic
 
Format: Digital download, compact disc
 
Time: 48:27
 
Release Date: 9 December 2014
 
Spin This: "Going Under," "Hard to Do," "Drake Would Love Me"
 

Pros:

Stronger songwriting along with delicate hodgepodge of nostalgic samples and sexy urban soul puts Michelle in a league of her own
 

Cons:

A few dim cuts, particularly the slouching album closer, hurt the disc's overall grade
 

Contemporary soul finds a bright spot on Memphis singer/songwriter’s newest album

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Contemporary soul finds a bright spot on Memphis singer/songwriter’s newest album

Memphis singer K. Michelle, who made her mark as a reality TV star on Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, is spreading her wings in the comforts of sexy urban contemporary R&B. It’s obvious that she’s spreading another set of wings on the front cover of her sophomore disc Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? – that would be her apple bottom cheeks. The inside liner notes are packed with more booty than a pirate ship. But she proves to be more than just a card-carrying fan club member of Vanity 6 inside the music.

Improvements from 2013’s Rebellious Soul are a little obvious. She still uses a familiar template – occasional grown-folks vulgarities, street talk, soulful Beyoncé-esque vocals, throwback smarts and sprinkles of sophisticated romance. But the ante in the songwriting department – shouldered by Michelle and a cast of consistent co-writing buddies (Bianca Atterberry, Balewa Muhammed) – seems to have hit a better stride. “Love ‘Em All” feels at home with Bey’s midtempo workouts; “Going Under” marinates sexy future R&B with a smart blurb from Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message.” “Hard to Do” – the edgiest of the album’s standout – resurrects a lost ‘90’s jam from trio Total and adds a little habanero to the flavor: “Missing you is way too hard to do/I’d rather be fucking you.”

The grooves also offer up a good deal of easy listening, particularly when John T. Smith’s Isley-like guitar plunks match up with the Minneapolis slow jam funk on “Cry.” But she knows how to pull things back and still maintain your attention. On the Linn drum-teased ballad “Drake Would Love Me,” she sings to a failing love about how a fantasy love affair with the rap superstar. It provokes a few giggles just for creating something new for the tabloids, but it’s the kind of smart storytelling that’s needed for today’s R&B. It helps knowing that Michelle knows how to sell it with such a pretty convincing instrument.

Although it’s far from being groundbreaking and even tries a bit hard to pleasure audiences beyond the hood (like the excessively country-twanged “God I Get It”),  Anybody Wanna a Heart? is pleasantly entertaining and shatters any preconceived notions that Michelle is some lower-tier one-trick pony.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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