Ms Kelly was last heard in 2011 when she released the heavily EDM-influenced record “Here I Am”. Many fans felt like she’d left RnB all together and that she’d be singing dancefloor fillers for the rest of her career – but fear not. She’s back to RnB in a big way on this new record and shows why it’s alive and knocking hard.
On this album opener, Kelly reunites with Rico Love who wrote and produced her breakout RnB hit ‘Motivation’ from her last record. This time they take us on an uptempo techno-RnB ride through Kelly’s inner freak. She even references a line from Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. It’s the perfect way to open the album and tell the world that she’s here and she’s fearless.
2. Kisses Down Low
This is the 1st single off the album and has major hit maker , Mike Will , on production. He’s the man responsible for urban hits like Rihanna’s ‘Pour It Up’ and most recently Miley Cyrus’ ‘We Can’t Stop’. This record is very much in the lane of the buzz single ‘ICE’ and past hit ‘Motivation’ in its lyrical content. It’s sexy and suggestive and let’s us know where Kelly really likes her kisses to be directed.
3. Gone feat. Wiz Khalifa
This is a stand-out track from the first listen ! It samples Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ which RnB fans would remember from Janet Jackson’s 90’s hit ‘Got Til’ It’s Gone’. The sample fits perfectly into this strong track centred around letting go of a no good lover. The whole record sounds like old-school RnB with a fresh, progressive vibe which makes you want to put it on repeat.
4. Talk A Good Game feat. Kevin Cossom
On the title track Kelly rides this groovy beat with one of her main collaborators on the album , Kevin Cossom. She lets us in on wanting to pursue a new love interest but feeling jaded from past failed relationships. This is one relatable record and surely a stand-out track.
5. Down On Love
This is definitely one of my favourite tracks off this album. She samples The Whispers ‘Rock Steady’ on this record. She discusses how she’s lost faith in love and is looking for someone to make her believe again. The hooky is extremely melodic and ensures that this record will stay on repeat.
6. Dirty Laundry
A lot has been said about this track which serves as the 2nd single off the album. It’s very biographical and lets us into a dark , vulnerable past where Kelly sings about feeling envious of Beyonce and how she went through an abusive relationship. All that vulnerability and rawness doesn’t result in an appropriate 2nd single though because the song is too long and isn’t nearly as melodic as it should be in order to get radio spins. However , that doesn’t take away the fact that this is an important record for Kelly’s career.
7. You Changed feat. Beyonce and Michelle
This is the one song that all Destiny’s Child fans have been waiting for since we heard it was going to be on the album. Kelly said that it would sound like soul and she definitely didn’t lie. We really get to hear the ladies in their element on this record and we get a sense of how they’ve all grown as vocalists and women. This track has to be a single !
8. I Remember
Another stand-out record ! On this one Kelly gives us soaring vocals on an RnB ballad with an element of EDM in the beat. I feel like this record could be played anywhere in the world and would appeal to anyone who’s a fan of music.
9. Red Wine
This track may be titled ‘Red Wine’ but it actually has nothing to do with the subject matter. One thing the two have in common is the chilled , slow-burn feeling that they both have. You’ll definitely find yourself singing along and getting caught up in this song.
10. This Is Love
Die hard Kelly fans or ‘Rowland Stones’ as she calls them would know that Kelly has another track with the same title off her ‘Ms. Kelly’ album from 2007. This one deals with the same subject but feels and sounds completely different. It has a euphoric and easy vibe to it opposed to the power ballad of its namesake.
11. Street Life feat. Pusha T
“Oooh there goes my baby daddy” croons Kelly on this sassy , urban record. It’s produced by iconic producer/artist Pharrel. It’s extremely catchy and fun – urban radio would eat this record up ! It definitely needs to be a single !
12. Stand In Front Of Me
This is the second Pharrel produced record off the album and definitely the least successful one. It sounds like a filler track that didn’t have much thought put into it. By far my least favourite track off the album.
13. Sky Walker feat. The Dream
This is a signature Dream production – filled with that sensual yet ratchet vibe that he’s known for. Kelly rides this beat with skill and precision ! Another favourite record for me
14. Put Your Name On It
Another great record ! The beat and Kelly’s passion-filled vocals result in a sensual , romantic pure RnB song . This is definitely another instant favourite. She can put her name on my musical heart for sure with this record !
15. Number One
This is another Mike Will produced track and on this one Kelly sings about refusing to settle for second best. It’s the perfect way to close the album. Besides the literal meaning , we really get a sense that Kelly wants to be the best woman/artist she can possibly be.
“Talk A Good Game” is that one Kelly Rowland album that everyone needs to get. It’s the best and most cohesive album of her solo career and really shows that she is at the most confident and honest place in her life. Go get it !