Sunday, August 14, 2011
Look out, Beyoncé. Here comes Kelly Rowland
HERE I AM ??? KELLY ROWLAND (UNIVERSAL MOTOWN REPUBLIC)
The question of what would happen to Destiny's Child members when Beyoncé Knowles left has been resoundingly answered on several occasions by Kelly Rowland. The answer has been "she's fine, just fine," especially since the soft R&B singer split from her manager (Beyoncé's dad) and her label (Beyoncé's Columbia) and turned some attention to electro and house. French dancemusic producer David Guetta's 2009 smash One Love, featuring Rowland's voice, was the gateway drug. After that, she was hooked on the Euro-disco sound, which gives Here I Am its flashiest moments.
Familiar as her past solo albums have been with syrupy slow jams and witty hip-hop, a track like the steamy Motivation, co-starring nasty Lil Wayne, makes sense. So does the bippity-bopping Lay It on Me with MC Big Sean. There are a few out-and-out pop jams that Rowland executes with varying degrees of guts and grace. But it's the brash Euro-dance stuff on Here that's made her into Donna Summer's best successor with producers such as the whooshing Guetta (Commander) and the crackling RedOne/Jimmy Joker/The WAV.s team (Down for Whatever) playing Giorgio Moroder to Rowland's nu-disco diva. Beyoncé better beware. Rowland's got some hot stuff.