[Review] Kelly Rowland’s “Here I Am”

Here I Am

Kelly Rowland has returned with her highly anticipated third album “Here I Am”. The singer steamed up the summer with her hot single “Motivation”, showcasing her growth as a woman and as an artist. She’s definitely come a long way from her previous releases which she described as “a struggle to find her sound”. Kelly explored all areas necessary in finalizing her latest album, getting inspiration from both her europop and r&b influences. This is evidently a first for the singer as she had never taken such a risk before, sticking to her urban roots for “Simply Deep” and “Ms. Kelly”. What makes this talented artist stand out to fans is her sultry and sensual persona that has proven to be quite appealing. The new album is an interpretation of Kelly’s journey to discover her true identity; in the end, she’s hoping we can understand just who she is and be able to accept her.

In comes the club banger “I’m Dat Chick”. Kelly’s sounding different on this track. Her flow is stronger than before and that is expected because of the title. It’s all about having self-confidence and not being afraid of exploring your sexuality as a woman. She’s obviously assertive; a force to be reckoned with. Kelly lets them know she’s hard on her grind and fly. This song is very empowering for the ladies and I can see them rocking to it in the club.  Although she’s giving her girls props, Kelly does admit that every good woman needs a good man in “Work it Man”. This song had such a groovy intro and the beat is just sick. I like the message portrayed as well. It’s about acknowledging the strong, loving, supportive and affectionate men in the world. He’s the kind of man that’s willing to stick around and work through his problems.

The seductive and very provocative track “Motivation” received mixed feelings from listeners. Some said it was too racy for an artist who hadn’t really demonstrated such sensuality before, while others were digging the risky move. I think it’s a good song about love making with a laid back r&b vibe, and I just love how slow paced and passionate it is. Sadly, the music video was a bit too much for me; however, it was appropriate for the song’s exotic concept:

New rapper on the block Big Sean helps out Kelly on “Lay It on Me”. The track continues the message of the previous song, which is about satisfying the every desire of your love interest. It fuses hip hop and pop together, creating a fun and exciting sound only fitting for the club (I wouldn’t play this in the bedroom because of how upbeat it is). 

Feelin’ Me Right Now” starts out with a lovely piano melody and moves into this exuberating beat. The song is about having a strong attraction for someone you’ve seen in the club. The lyrics are so descriptive you can almost play out the scenes in your head. Not to mention the hook is catchy and the harmonies are just amazing. What I like about this track is that it’s so relatable because every girl or every boy can picture a time in their lives when they saw someone in the club or wherever they felt deeply attracted to and wanted to get to know that person.

Turn It Up” is my favorite song on the album. The beat brings me back to “Lose My Breath” and maybe because it’s the same producer (Rodney Jerkins). This track is so spectacular in every way. I like how it starts out with a europop feel but then it incorporates some powerful hip hop influences. The song is all about heartbreak and feeling left behind by someone you liked but once you start playing it you can’t help but feel rejuvenated. It’s as if Kelly is saying she’ll be alright; she’ll continue to live her life but is also reminding the guy about karma. This is the beginning of the more dance inspired songs on the album.

Why is the theme of love making continuing in another track? You might ask this question but you won’t tire of it actually. “All Of The Night” places further emphasis on wanting to achieve the ultimate pleasure. There is something so entrancing about this song. It takes you into a romantic place and keeps you there until the last beat. I love its purpose on the album.

It’s great that after so much hard-hitting tracks listeners get to experience the mesmerizing r&b track “Keep It between Us”. The moment she starts singing you become absorbed within the emotional lyrics. The song is about assurance and discretion. She wants to hold on to the love and would like the guy to promise he’ll remain faithful. It’s also about privacy and not sharing too much of what goes on in the relationship with others. While it’s good to just soak in this one and only slow tempo r&b track on the album, you have to move on to the next eventually, which will force us back into the dance session. “Commander” was a single previously released in Europe which had many wondering if Kelly had traded in her urban roots for a more techno sound. The singer quickly squashed speculations by stating that she’s simply experimenting and challenging herself as an artist. I for one understood what she’s doing and I’m excited about the fact that she’s so creative and ever evolving. It keeps people interested when you try new things. This song embodies everything she was trying to convey to her fans on both side of the world: having the freedom to do whatever and loving it.

The album closes off in the trance feel. Am I pleased? Yes, but at the same time a little displeased at the fact there are only ten tracks on the album. The track “Down for Whatever” takes us out but keeps us going. The song is about being adventurous and fun-loving in the relationship. Now and then you should try new things to keep things spicy. It’s my least favorite on the album because of it’s repetitiveness but I think it was a bold choice to conclude a wonderful work of art.

Kelly has always been the artist to observe. Her music is endless and never gets old. I’m ever anticipating what she’ll bring to the game whenever I hear she’s working on new material. “Here I Am” is her final remark in saying this is me and this is what I’m about. People can love her, accept her, or hate her. In my opinion, she took a leap of faith with her latest album and it’s truly worth the risk because her sound is new, different, and entertaining. Overall,  “Here I Am” gets a rating of 4.9/5

Track listing:

01. I’m Dat Chick
02. Work It Man ft. Lil Playy
03. Motivation ft. Lil Wayne
04. Lay It On Me ft. Big Sean
05. Feelin’ Me Right Now 
06. Turn It Up
07. All Of The Night ft. Rico Love
08. Keep It Between Us
09. Commander ft. David Guetta
10. Down For Whatever

(purchase this album on iTunes)

images courtesy of kellyrowland.com 

video credit: kellyrowlandvevo

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