Album Review: Keyshia Cole – ‘Woman To Woman’

Leave a comment

For those of you who don’t know (then you’re major late), Keyshia Cole is my favourite artists! I would explain why she is my favourite artist, but I really don’t have the time. As a result, I’ve decided to review her sixth studio album, ‘Woman To Woman’, which was released earlier on this week (November 19th).

After her fourth studio album, ‘Calling All Hearts’, was a hit and miss, Cole knew that she had to come back with a burning flame with her new project. Despite her hardcore fans claiming that they really appreciated the project, other fans said otherwise and her sale figures were also disappointing. So, being the fighter that she is, Cole is back with ‘Woman To Woman’.

“This record has to be one of her best vocal tracks of all time! The songstress really experimented with her range on…”

The first single to be lifted off the project was, ‘Enough Of No Love’. Cole exploded back on to the scene with this record, which featured Lil’ Wayne. ‘Enough Of No Love’ certainly was the record that showed everyone that Cole was back and she meant business. The track even scored the songstress her first top 10 R&B hit since ‘Trust (feat. Monica)’. The tune peaked at #7 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts and #84 on the Hot 100. If you haven’t seen the video to Cole’s ‘Enough Of No Love’ then watch it here below:

After ‘Enough Of No Love’ burnt down US radio stations, fans were ready for the second single. Being the generous artist that Cole is, she told fans the title of her second single via Twitter, ‘Trust and Believe’. Being the hardcore Cole fan that I am, I thought the record was going to be an inspiring track, because if you observe the songstress like I do, you’ll realise that one of her favourite  quotes is “Trust and Believe”. Regardless, I couldn’t wait to hear the track, however, when I heard the track I wasn’t expecting what I heard. Cole brought back the heartbroken girl from her ‘The Way It Is’ and ‘Just Like You’ projects. It was an “wait a minute!” moment!

Not to mention she released the video for the record which had everybody’s mother, auntie, cousin and Godmother screaming at their laptop/television screens with “YES KEYSHIA!” If you haven’t watched the video for ‘Trust and Believe’ then please do not hesitate to watch it below:

Now, after hearing those two singles, everybody was anxious to hear what the songstress had to offer with the project, ‘Woman To Woman’. Despite the album coming out the same day as Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic’ and Nicki Minaj’s ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up’, Cole’s “Diamonds” were not phased.

Cole opens up the album with the lead single from the project, ‘Enough Of No Love’, but since we’ve already discussed that record, let’s move on to one of my favourite tracks from the album, ‘Missing Me’. This record for me is one of the outstanding tracks on the album. The songwriter sings “Who do you think you are? To say that you are the best that I ever had? But you’re missing me now, now that my love ain’t around”. This song is certainly for those who love the phrase “you never know what you got, until it’s gone.”

“A lot of people were puzzled as to why Cole put such an irrelevant artist such as Ashanti on such a hyped record…”

A lot of people say that all Cole’s music is dedicated to the broken hearted. However, on the record, ‘Get It Right’, the songstress speaks about her lover just not giving her “the loving” the way how they used to. Surely, some of you can relate to this situation where one moment in time you’re trying to make love and you realise that your partner is just not in it the way how they used to. Cole is advising you to tell your partner to ‘Get It Right’ on this album.

Moving swiftly on, I have to speak on the record that had a lot of anticipation surrounding it, the album title track, ‘Woman To Woman’. A lot of people were puzzled as to why Cole put such an irrelevant artist such as Ashanti on such a hyped record. If it makes you feel better, originally Brandy was enlisted for the track. Unfortunately, Brandy couldn’t do the record, but Ashanti did a good enough job. ‘Woman To Woman’ is definitely a female duet what R&B has been missing. Brandy and Monica failed miserably at it with their recent duet, ‘It All Belongs To Me’, but Cole & Ashanti brought the fire with this track and hopefully they release it as a single, as the record is too strong for it to be swept under the carpet.

“Considering Cole has never done dance records before, ‘Here We Go’ is one of the reasons why she should never do it again.”

I want to briefly speak on Cole’s vocals on this album. First of all, Elijah Blake really took the spotlight from Cole on ‘Wonderland’ however, the track is flawless regardless. Elijah Blake is definitely one to keep an eye on. Despite Elijah Blake stealing the shine on ‘Wonderland’ Cole claims back her spotlight with ‘I Choose You’. This record has to be one of her best vocal tracks of all time! The songstress really experimented with her range on ‘I Choose You’, I have never heard her sing in that range before, however, I hope she proceeds to use this range on future records! The latter record is definitely the outstanding track on ‘Woman To Woman’.

Within reason, ‘Woman To Woman’ closes out with the beautiful love song, ‘Signature‘. This is a graceful love song which should be suggested to be added to a wedding playlist. ‘Signature’ is also a different record from the love songs that the songwriter has done in the past; it shows her vocal ability and definitely is another strong contender with the other outstanding tracks that have been mentioned within this review. However, whilst listening to the iTunes deluxe edition of ‘Woman To Woman’ I was rather shaken up when I heard ‘Here We Go’. Ladies and gentlemen, ‘Here We Go’ is a dance record. Considering Cole has never done dance records before, ‘Here We Go’ is one of the reasons why she should never do it again. As the latter record is the weakest track on the album and doesn’t suit the vibe of ‘Woman to Woman’. The lyrical content for the record is on point; however, coming from a fan that loves Cole’s music and has enjoyed every material she has released from the beginning of her career, I would advise her to never try dance music again. It definitely is not her forte.

Overall, ‘Woman To Woman’ is a good comeback album from Cole. Considering the backlash she received from the previous contender, ‘Calling All Hearts’ it definitely is within my top 3 out of 5 favourite albums from the songstress. All Cole needs to do, is to promote the project and continue to deliver good vocal performances and she will surely have a successful album on her hands. I am a very proud of this album and the songwriter should be also!

Outstanding tracks

  1. Enough Of No Love (Feat. Lil’ Wayne)
  2. Missing Me
  3. Trust And Believe
  4. Get It Right
  5. Woman To Woman (Feat. Ashanti)
  6. Wonderland (Feat. Elijah Blake)
  7. I Choose You
  8. Hey Sexy
  9. Who’s Gonna Hold Me Down
  10. Signature
  11. Wonder
  12. I Can’t Make You Love Me

12/16 tracks!

Advertisements

Album Review: Usher – ‘Looking 4 Myself’

Leave a comment

At the start of the year there was a lot of anticipation that 2012 would be the year that R&B will be the leading genre on the charts. At the moment, it doesn’t seem that way.

Usher has released his 7th studio album ‘Looking 4 Myself’ this week. I would be lying if I said that Usher isn’t one of my favourite male artists, I won’t forget moments of me standing in front of my TV learning the routine to ‘U-Turn’ and the dance break in ‘U Got It Bad’. However, a question that continues to emerge in people’s minds is; “has Usher lost it?” I think the title of his new album answers those questions.

Usher’s album has the potential to be great. However, everything is just scattered all over the place.

Usher preceded this album with the single, ‘Climax’, which set the world on fire. ‘Climax’ reached #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart and debuted at #4 on the official UK Singles Chart. Everybody thought Usher was reinventing R&B with this project, until he released dance record, ‘Scream’. ‘Scream’ is the typical dance record that you would hear on the radio. If you’re an R&B fan like I am, ‘Scream’ is the kind of record you’d roll your eyes to. If you haven’t heard ‘Climax’ or ‘Scream’ you can listen to them below:

 

However, despite hearing 'Scream' I still wanted to give the album a chance. The question is; should I have bothered?

Have you ever seen a shopping trolley full of groceries and suddenly the trolley would get tipped over and all of the groceries are on the floor? That, ladies & gentlemen is how I would describe Usher's new album. The reason I am using groceries as an example is because everybody needs groceries, however, what use are they if they're scattered all over a supermarket floor and damaged? Usher's album has the potential to be great. However, everything is just scattered all over the place.

 'Looking 4 Myself' has to be the worse album Usher has released to date.

The album has a lot of R&B cut's, 'Looking 4 Myself' is definitely not a pop/dance record. However, the tracks that made the album just aren’t strong enough. There are a few cuts that stood out to me. To be quite honest with you, I only enjoyed 4 tracks on the album and that includes 'Climax'.

One of those four tracks is, 'Dive'. 'Dive' is the kind of record that we all love to hear Usher singing. It’s the sort of slow jam that you will find yourself bopping your head to in the car, or it could be a part of your upcoming sex playlist. Yes, I took it there. If there was a track that I could compare 'Dive' to, it would have to be 'Mars vs. Venus' which was featured on Usher's 'Raymond V. Raymond' album.

Another sexy cut from 'Looking 4 Myself' is, 'Lessons For The Lover'. The latter is a record where Usher gives the lover's advice on what to do after an argument. He drops the lyric:

"Just let that argument, turn you on".

The production of 'Lessons for the Lover' reassured me of why I am a fan of Usher. If the whole of 'Looking 4 Myself' had great production like 'Climax', 'Dive' and 'Lessons For The Lover' then the R&B singer would definitely have a ground breaking album on his hands. Rather than an album that resembles a messy supermarket floor.

However, Usher has a track on the Deluxe version of 'Looking 4 Myself' titled 'Euphoria'. This record is a strong dance record, it most definitely will a single.

On a whole, I would have to say 'Looking 4 Myself' has to be the worse album Usher has released to date. Hopefully, the R&B singer get's it together on his future projects and hopefully, finds himself. These are the songs that stood out to me from the album:

  1. Climax
  2. I Care for U
  3. Dive
  4. Lessons For The Lover

Rihanna – Talk That Talk [Album Review]

Leave a comment

Rihanna is back with her 6th Studio album “Talk That Talk. Rihanna’s 5th Studio album was released this Monday 21st November and goes in competition with Mary J. Blige’s 10th Studio “My Life II: The Journey Continues (Act I)”. Here’s what I thought of Rihanna’s new album “Talk That Talk”.

Rihanna’s first single “We Found Love” is a Chart success. However I do not like it as I am not into simply lyrics and Nursery Rhymes. The tracks success is hidden behind a banging beat and a really well edited and well directed video. However this song is not my cup of tea. Despite of me not liking her hit single I decided to check out the album.

Surprisingly – I do not like the album. Rihanna is clearly making something that I would like to call “Micro waved music”. If you knew the background behind this album you would know that Rihanna was going to do a “LOUD Deluxe Edition” and add some more tracks to her “LOUD” album. However she decided to release a new album. If you listen to “Talk that Talk” it clearly sounds like “LOUD Part II”. I personally believe that this was a bad idea, as Rihanna usually brings out a new sound on every album. However it looks like she doesn’t care! Rihanna is clearly looking for Hits after Hit after Hit, money, money, money. That’s what it looks like to me.

I didn’t enjoy the album. I felt like she was screaming notes at me and was just feeding me Nursery Rhymes. Despite her giving me a bunch of Nursery Rhymes I was really feeling “Birthday Cake” which is an interlude but needs to be turned into a full track very soon. Despite it being Recycled I really enjoyed “Roc Me Out” however it does sound like “Rude Boy” from her previous album “Rated R”. Once again Micro waved Music!

The whole album is not something that you haven’t heard before. It’s typical pop music. I didn’t enjoy the album at all. However if you’re into the Rihanna hype then you will love this album, BUT – If you are into the Rihanna hype and enjoyed this album, then I am really worried about the Music Industry as a whole. I now understand what my Grandparents meant when they said “Music these day’s just isn’t the same”. Give me an old Mary J. Blige album any day over this “Talk that Talk” bullsh*t.

Tracks that made my iPod

  • Talk That Talk (Feat. Jay-Z)
  • Cockiness (I Love It)
  • Birthday Cake
  • Rock me Out
  • Watch n’ Learn
  • Farewell

6/15 Tracks.