Kelly Rowland: Here I Am

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Posted September 12, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0
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Destiny’s wild for Kelly Rowland on third set

Beyoncé’s 4 should have been postponed or tossed in a bonfire, now that Kelly Rowland’s third album, Here I Am, has arrived. On first listen, it’s a balzy transition for the former Destiny’s Child member after dropping manager Mathew Knowles and abandoning the sonic palette surrounding her previous albums (2002’s Simply Deep, 2007’s Ms. Kelly). This time around, Rowland surrounds her paper-thin R&B vocals around dreamier R&B, sexier productions, thanks to David Guetta, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Rico Love and Tricky Stewart. The beatific update on Rowland feels like promising Beyoncé material, but slips too quickly into seductive grinding with the Weezy-supported “Motivation” (who once again steals the spotlight), “All Of The Night” and “Lay It On Me.” But for the most part, Rowland plays with upbeat club-friendly teases, like the bass-thumping attention-getting opener “I’m Dat Chick” (“I’m not cocky/I just love myself/’Cause he can’t buy a ring, I can buy myself”) and the man-lovin’ anthem “Work It Man.” Halfway into the disc, the tunes maintain their grasp on your attention. “Turn It Up” sounds like the perfect follow-up to Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” while Guetta’s “Commander” and “Down For Whatever,” inserted on the backend of the disc, places her squarely in the comforts of appetizing Eurodisco. Rowland sounds invigorated, liberated and seems to be optimistic on her quest to becoming as big as Sasha Fierce. Here I Am certainly paints that impression.

J MATTHEW COBB

HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 22 July 2011
  • Label: Universal Motown
  • Producers: Darkchild, David Guetta, Tricky Stewart, Souldiggaz, RedOne, StarGate, Rico Love, Ne-Yo, Hit-Boy, Jim Jonsin
  • Spin This: “Motivation,” “Work It Man,” “Commander”

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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