I sympathize with Kelly Rowland, I really do. It must suck being constantly overshadowed by your former Destiny's Child groupmate Beyoncé. Really: If Rowland cured cancer tomorrow, the story would probably be buried under another one about Beyoncé's breakfast.
Anyway, Kelly's third album, Here I Am, dropped a few weeks ago. After listening to it, I say it's a bit better than Beyoncé's latest album, 4. Unlike Beyoncé, Kelly doesn't always shout her lyrics out like a diva out to prove something. Even when the tracks fluctuate between R&B and Euro-house, Here I Am sounds more consistent than 4, whose tracks are all over the place.
Basically, what I'm asying is this: If Beyoncé wins an award this year for her album, I'll take the mic Kanye-style and extol the supremacy of Rowland's album.
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Her album's single, "Motivation," is a female-fronted counterpart to the smooth, slow-tempo R&B vibe that R. Kelly and Trey Songz usually proffer. The studio mix, with keyboard pads and popcorn notes beside Kelly's varied delivery, sufficiently sets the mood.
And, surprisingly, Weezy's Siamese-cat voice doesn't immediately kill the romance as it did in J. Lo's "I'm Into You." He even gets in some pretty rich lines -- "make you lose yourself / 'n' finder's keepers" and "when I'm done / she hold me like a conversation" -- this time around.
Great stuff all around. Just make sure you don't add a Beyoncé track to the same playlist you put this track on. It might eclipse it.