Kelly Rowland – Talk A Good Game
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Record Label: Republic
There's a moment on Kelly Rowland's new album Talk A Good Game where she sings “While my sister was on stage/Killing it like a motherfucker/I was enraged/Feeling it like a motherfucker.” Throughout the course of her career, Rowland has been living in the shadow of fellow Destiny's Child member Beyonce Knowles, who has reached the status of super stardom every young singer dreams of. Meanwhile, her former group mates have been going through their own tribulations, seemingly forgotten by the world. Kelly has had a few smash hits here and there throughout the years, but her name doesn't trigger the same response that Beyonce's does. Throughout Talk A Good Game, though, Kelly Rowland makes a strong case for why she deserves the kind of super stardom that Beyonce has seen.
Kelly Rowland makes the case with an album that is very r&b at its core but infuses stadium ready pop around its edges. The thing that really drives this album home, though, is that there are zero mediocre songs throughout its 12 song duration, and even the bonus tracks are worth grabbing and add to the already stellar quality of the album. It's one of the most consistent releases from a pop/r&b artists in quite some time, and the woman at the helm of it all shows an unmatched confidence in both her singing ability as well as her storytelling. On The-Dream produced “Dirty Laundry,” she confesses her jealousy of Beyonce, but goes on to tell a heartbreaking tale of the abusive relationship she was caught in during it all. It's one of the most vulnerable and honest moments on the album, and the lasting impact is felt long after the song is over.
Despite there being some pretty heavy material here, there are a good amount of fun, light hearted pop jams as well. “Freak” and “Kisses Down Low” kick the album off with a 1-2 punch of fun, crossover r&b songs that are ready to fill up stadiums. “Gone” offers a fresh take on a break up song with an uplifting melody of the old mantra “Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til its gone.” It comes off as a bit cliché, but the sentiment seems sincere enough to make you smile anyway.
While the quality of the album is consistent throughout, there are a couple of songs that are easy standouts here. “You Changed” features Beyonce and Michelle for what could be considered a Destiny's Child song, and hearing these three together again is incredibly exciting. “Sky Walker” features The-Dream, and his lush production coupled with his keen pop songwriting instincts brings the song a certain charm that sets it apart from the rest. Even though it's a bonus track, it's better than most of the album and should not be passed up.
By teaming up with some of the best producers in the r&b/hip-hop genre right now, including frequent Drake collaborators T-Minus and Boi-1da, Kelly Rowland has managed to make one of the best sounding r&b albums of the year. And while Destiny's Child will ultimately be remembered for breeding the world renown Beyonce, Kelly Rowland will not be forgotten, and Talk A Good Game outlines why. She has both the personality and music to launch her to super star status, and those that have already written off her time in the mainstream are probably kicking themselves right now. Talk A Good Game is a powerful statement from a woman that deserves to be remembered, and after this album, she absolutely will be.