Likes: I’m Dat Chick, Turn It Up, Heaven & Earth
Dislikes: Lay it On Me, Motivation
Overall: commercially appeasing, but not artistically. Not sure why an album can’t be both artistically and commercially sound.
After over a year of deliberating, recording and releasing “tester” singles, Kelly Rowland’s third solo album, “Here I Am” has finally arrived. With a declarative title like “Here I Am,” one would expect a powerful, vibrant album with introspective lyrics, like those found on the previous “Ms. Kelly.” That’s not what was delivered, however. Mostly contemporary dance-R&B with thin lyrics and loads of sexual content, “Here I Am” was a clear attempt to be commercial (the best example of this is the latest single, “Lay it On Me”). The record is devoid of artistic quality to the point that it’s infuriating if you’re eager for Rowland to have a brilliant smash record that shows her ability. Glimmers of lyrical potency are seen on the gritty “Turn it Up” (a song about drinking the sorrows of being the “other woman” away) and self-love tracks, “Feelin’ Me Right Now” and “Heaven & Earth.” Vocally, Rowland’s pipes aren’t complimented. The production is the strongest part of the album; mildly sophisticated in spots and generally catchy. I would suspect that the songs are likable enough for the album or its subsequent singles to have decent sales numbers, but I don’t see this album being viewed as impactful or a “classic.” If you want an album to just bump around to, “Here I Am” is perfect for you. If you’re looking for album that will arouse a profound reaction, buy something else. While I’ve been against artists conforming to typical techno-pop, at least “Commander,” “When Love Takes Over”, and “Forever & a Day” (the latter two were excluded from the album) showcased Rowland’s vocals. To read my less objective, unfiltered fan review see http://jsays.weebly.com/8/post/2011/07/kelly-rowland-here-i-am-a-fans-perspective.html