Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Talk A Good Game’?

As of late, I have found myself falling back in love with the music of one Kelly Rowland.

I think it started for me after I heard her featured on Big Boi’s single “Mama Told Me”. She was amazing alongside Mr. Patton. After that everything seemed to be on an upswing for her

This leads me to her latest album.

For a second I was dubious.

Personally, I was a fan of the wholly underrated debut solo album from Rowland entitled Simply Deep. The album was introspective in places, ballad laced in others. This was the Kelly Rowland that I fell for back in 2003.

 Ms. Kelly was OK. I loved that song she did with Eve. “Like This”, I believe it was called.

Here I Am just pisses me off mostly because of the constantly played (and highly annoying) “Motivation”. Ironically enough that song didn’t motivate me to do anything but change the station or the song.

Talk A Good Game has a certain level of irony to it as well.  But I will come back to that after a while.

Musically speaking, this is probably one of Rowland’s strongest albums. The songs are good alone and as a body of work. Although the album is classified as both pop and R & B, there are moments where it goes into other genres such as adult contemporary, funk, and dance. This intrigued me when I first heard about it. So I dived in, hoping the title wasn’t just ‘talk’.

Here goes something…

Freak” is a techno heavy dance track. It transports me to the club with flashing strobe lights and a beautiful woman dancing close on me. The production spurns bodies to the floor and Rowland’s voice can be likened to a disco queen as she stands under the disco ball with a cat suit on the music all around her. Songs like make me quietly wish I had a disco ball in my house.

Kisses Down Low” is a sexy track. There is just no other way around it. I wouldn’t call it baby making music. But I will say the song is something akin to foreplay music, if such a thing even exists. I get a good visual here as well. My mind’s eye pictures kisses on bare skin straying steadily lower and lower. But I digress. The song is sexy without being too much or too raunchy. There is a level of mystique and clever wording that a lot of songs are missing (see every Lil’ Wayne out these days).

Dirty Laundry” does what the title says: airs out the dirty laundry. In this deeply personal track Rowland speaks of an abusive relationship that no one really knew about, her feelings after Destiny’s Child broke up, and how she dealt with it. It also speaks how she rose up from that situation to be where she is now. This track has people playing detective trying to figure out who that guy was who was hurting her. Hell, I’m looking for his ass too. 

You Changed” is, for lack of a better term, an unofficial Destiny’s Child reunion and/or hidden track. It feels good to hear their voices playing off of each other. It’s a break-up song that is so melodic that you can forget its point if you’re not careful. Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle do this as if they’d never broken up at all. Loved every second of it.

I also suggest “Talk A Good Game”, “Street Life”, “I Remember”, and “Gone”.

I appreciate irony most of the times. For the sake of itself it is a great device to be used in everyday conversation and in literature. There are more uses but that’s not the point. I originally hoped that the title of this album wasn’t irony at its finest.

But it is.

It’s ironic to name an album Talk A Good Game when all you are doing is showing us that your game is strong.

Good job, Kelly.

written by Lucius Black for Royalty Magazine

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