It's been a long time coming for Kelly Rowland's third solo album Here I Am, which went from being a primarily dance record with a focus on the UK market to the mostly urban final result. Kelly is no stranger to long gaps in-between albums, as her underrated second album Ms. Kelly was pushed back to make way for her fellow DC3 member Beyonce's B'Day just to be poorly handled when it finally was released four years ago. Having changed management & labels since then, it's no surprise that there's all kinds of confidence present on Here I Am, Kelly's strongest work yet.
1. "I'm Dat Chick": This one goes HARD, thanks in part to Tricky Stewart & Ester Dean! An excellent way to kick off the album. 5/5
2. "Work It Man" (ft. Lil' Playy): With the exception of Lil' Playy, Darkchild brought this joint home the way he has Kelly instructing, "Tell him you don't need him at all!" 5/5
3. "Motivation" (ft. Lil' Wayne): Once this one grew on me, I was able to appreciate the powerful vocals & sexiness present here. 5/5
4. "Lay It On Me" (ft. Big Sean): Kelly Rowland + Ester Dean = Brilliance! 5/5
5. "Feelin' Me Right Now": ...& rightly so! You will too as soon as you hear her spew off lines like "it's already in my iPhone" the way she does! It's been agreed that this needs to be the next single. 5/5
6. "Turn It Up": Darkchild, sir! This is my jayum!! The end especially gives me ERRTHANG! 5/5
7. "All Of The Night" (ft. Rico Love): Rico, I appreciate the structure, so thank you for writing such a great song, but please stick to just that... there's no need for you to do whatever you call what you did on this song. Kelly sounds amazing on this one though! 5/5
8. "Keep It Between Us": The album may be uptempo-heavy, but I'm fine with it because 1) they're all top-notch & 2) this song completely makes up for the ballad lack-age. There's some Brandy influence in there, a little Destiny's Child... you other lame ballads ain't got nothin' on this masterpiece! 5/5
9. "Commander": I've loved this song forever. I could listen to Kelly Rowland sing anything. 5/5
10. "Down For Whatever": Kelly, with material like this, I "can't say no to you!" What a fantastic way to end the album on a high note. 5/5
This album goes sooo hard, you can tell the way it affects me just by reading my review! The primary thing that sticks out in my mind about the album is that she sounds phenomenal from beginning to end. She recorded a ton of material for this album, as is evident by the many leaks of varying quality, but I honestly think the 10 best songs made the cut. The best album of the year so far, Here I Am is a terrific blend of R&B & dance that will likely be added to the display of my 25 favorite albums at the bottom of my blog very soon.
Rating: 5/5 Stars