Keyshia Cole has been my girl since 2005 when she released her debut album The Way It Is. With 2007's Just Like You & 2008's A Different Me, Keyshia gave me two more of my favorite albums to date. In the two years that she's taken in-between albums to get engaged & have a baby though, something happened. Maybe she just got lazy, I don't know, but as much as I hate to say it, Calling All Hearts is her worst album--by far.
1. "I Ain't Thru" (ft. Nicki Minaj): As it happens, the mastered version of this song is awesome! It's a very solid uptempo &, well, it doesn't hurt that Nicki murders her verse..! 5/5
2. "Long Way Down": A pretty standard slow jam from Keyshia, which would normally be a great thing, but, although it's still good, her sluggish vocals start showing up here. 4.5/5
3. "Tired Of Doing Me" (ft. Tank): These two sound great together on this ballad, Keyshia's terrible first run aside. 4/5
4. "If I Fall In Love Again" (ft. Faith Evans): They make a decent pairing on this very nice throwback joint. 4.5/5
5. "So Impossible": It's frustrating because this song was on the verge of greatness, but Keyshia's vocals are all over the place. 3.5/5
6. "Sometimes": I can hardly listen to this potentially amazing ballad because her vocals are so out of tune. Ron, help!?! 3/5
7. "Take Me Away": Aaahhh, like a breath of fresh air: A song that someone spent more than five minutes producing! Ya, I know Keyshia only sounds good when her vocals are over-produced. Do I look like I care? This is my jam! 5/5
8. "What You Do To Me": Her voice is shot on this track & it doesn't help that it sounds like a leftover from A Different Me. (Ya, she was lying when she said this album was a return to the dramatic tone of her first two.) 3/5
9. "Last Hangover" (ft. Timbaland): This is actually one of Timbaland's best in recent memory. Very cool midtempo. 5/5
10. "Thank You" (ft. Dr. Yvonne Cole): Good as her intentions may have been with this song, Keyshia sounds pretty awful on it. Upstaged by her mom much? 1.5/5
11. "Better Me": Where did the breathy vibrato mess come from?! And on top of not being able to stand to listen to her voice here, she's singing this heartfelt ballad to someone whose nickname is "Boobie" *blinks twice*. 1.5/5
Despite it's few highlights, Calling All Hearts is simply half-baked. It's polarizing feeling is evened out a bit in the deluxe edition with the mediocrity of "Confused In Love", the chorus of which sounds great *cough* & mastered *cough*, while the verses are painful; "Two Sides To Every Story", which is alright vocally, but horribly written; & "Where Would We"; decide for yourself if that's a good or bad thing. It's just as if they completely skipped the mastering process for most of the album in order to get it out on time or something. She could've saved half these songs, recorded for another six months, & actually put out her fourth straight incredible album, but we got this instead. This is rare, possibly a first, for me, but rather than buying the entire album this time, I would recommend just downloading the best tracks because you'll skip the others everytime anyway.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars