Mabore Thema | Straying further and further away from ‘the-girl-next-door’ formula she has used for years, Kelly Rowland not only manages to rise from the shadow of ex bandmate Beyoncé with her new album Talk a good game but she also undoubtedly caused a much needed stir. Together with a team of high profile producers, Ms Kelly packages honesty with edgy beats and refreshingly unique ‘swag’.
Released 14 June 2013, this 12 track album reaffirms why Kelly is still relevant after almost two decades in the music industry. She has definitely evolved from the insecure girl from Georgia into a confident, sexually empowered songstress. This being her 4th solo album, described by Billboard.com as her most ‘focused, consistent and honest album to date’, she shows the world why she deserves to carve her name on every music chart.
The core of this album has to be, beyond question, Dirty Laundry. This heavily tragic song penned by respected producer and songwriter The Dream encapsulates envy and domestic abuse. In the song, she expresses how jealous she was of her long-time friend Beyoncé’s success. When she was not progressing in her career, Beyoncé was at her prime. Bey’s debut solo album Dangerously in love won 5 Grammy awards. Kelly sings, “He hittin’ the window like it was me, until it shattered / He pulled me out, he said, ‘Don’t nobody love you but me / Not your mama, not your daddy and especially not Bey.” In these lines, she illustrates an abusers manipulation. She recalls how her abuser made her feel unloved by those around her, a move that made her dependent on him and isolated her from her family and friends.
Born 11 February 1981 in Georgia, Kelly was often described as a shy and insecure girl. The song kisses down low clearly illustrates how far she has come. The song, produced by Mike Will Made It, is clever and playful. Admittedly the song is forgettable however it is important to note how the star pulled off this cringe worthy song with class. Stand in front of me, produced by Pharrell, also shows Kelly’s seductive side, she sings about how to keep a man. It is a soulful number that is perfect for weddings, or at least romantic dinners.
The graceful way in which Kelly finds her voice and herself has to be applauded. She is honest about her flaws and takes responsibility for them in this dark, honest album.