4 years after the release of “Ms Kelly”, Kelly Rowland returns with “Here I am”. This time she teams up with an all star cast of songwriters and producers for her third studio album. She opens the album with “I’m Dat Chick”, a tune with much swagger to it as she asserts herself as a successful solo artist no longer a part of Destiny’s Child and certainly no longer living in the shadows of Beyonce.
The record does go in a more dance music direction. The producer-driven medium definitely helps because she doesn’t have to carry the album on her own. Much like Jennifer Lopez’s “Love?” it’s got the same elements of club dance music with good hooks that would easily get radio airplay.
It’s very different from her ballad heavy 2002 debut “Simply Deep” and you see that she doesn’t take her material too seriously like before. allowing a more carefree style to herself and her tunes.
“Feeling Me Right Now” is about Rowland falling in love with her own reflection in the mirror. I’m not sure what to make of it really because it’s an awkward or interesting attempt at cleverness. Perhaps one of those tunes that’s either a hit or miss on personal preference.
Putting “Motivation” aside given its chart success already, album standouts have to be the Rodney Jerkins produced “Turn It Up” and “Feeling Me Right Now,” which allow Rowland to play with tempos effectively with heavy beats and layered vocals.
The David Guetta/Rico Love dance-floor anthem in “Commander” is another standout. With this track, Rowland has recaptured some of that more general pop music crowd that embraced Destiny’s Child in the late 90’s and early 2000s.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
It sounds like a confident piece of work. It’s got a sexy sound blend with some up-tempo potential dance hits. Rowland leaves a mark on her solo career with this album.
Here I Am is out in stores now
by Connor J. Bale
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