I think if you’ve followed Kelly Rowland’s career, you’ve always gotten the sense that she was holding something back. Like she was afraid to be as magnificent as we all know she can be. There was always the sense that we weren’t getting the full extent of her artistry. And not because it wasn’t there, but because she didn’t quite believe in it.
So when I listen to Dirty Laundry, it plays as a stunning admission of her crushing insecurity more than anything else. Sure, we learn about Kelly having suffered domestic abuse and that she has complicated feelings about Beyonce’s solo success, but that’s just not what the song is telling me emotionally.
“who wanna hear my bullshit?”
It doesn’t feel like we’re reliving something she’s moved through. We’re living something she’s stillin…with her. The song doesn’t turn on an awakening. It doesn’t turn at all. We are sitting in her insecurity with her.
Those five little words are almost an aside in the structure of the song. As if she’s still not quite sure. Even now when she’s being as revealing and honest as she’s ever been, I still get the sense that she’s struggling against a profound sense that no one cares at all about Kelly Rowland. It’s riveting, but I have to wonder what is next.
I want this song to represent a turning point in her career. A point that we’ll all look back and say “that was the moment Kelly Rowland started to become a great artist.” But I worry that this will be the only song on the album that gives us something uniquely Kelly.
I sincerely hope she doesn’t think one song is enough.
Kelly Rowland’s third album, Here I Am, is every bit as pedestrian and lifeless as many of us feared. It suggests not only that the industry has absolutely no idea what to do with Kelly but that she herself has ambitions no grander than being as derivative as she can possibly be.
Having said that, her voice is still capable of remarkable beauty:
And still – songs like this that showcase how wonderfully expressive Kelly is capable of being appear so infrequently on the album. It is almost as if everyone involved concedes the fact that Kelly Rowland herself is the least essential element to a Kelly Rowland album.
It is likely too early to call, but Kelly Rowland may be finding herself.
We all know I love me some Kelly Rowland so I’m probably biased. But it is nice to see her finally own so completely and confidently the fact that she is the finest woman on the planet.
But more than that, she holds your attention in this video in a way she simply hasn’t before. Kelly for so long was the dime piece who didn’t want you to notice her. Even though she was a prominent member of one of the biggest girl groups of all time. Even though everyone who had eyes could tell that there was something there worth paying attention to.
“Motivation” the song and video feels more like the true progression from her scene-stealing turns in “Lose My Breath” (both song and video) and on the last Destiny’s Child album, where she got all the best parts and freaked the hell out of them. It isn’t a great song, but it’s better than what she’s been releasing so far and, most importantly, it allows her to use the top part of her vocal range well.
And it just feels like the star turn we’ve all been waiting for.
Also, this album is NOT limited, I am not allowing ANYONE to put me in a box, with sound. That’s not where I belong. The album IS consistent sonically and I am writing, creating, having fun, and healing………it’s been a BLAST!!!
doesn’t make me want to hear your album. Not if that “consistent sonic” palette is just your way of saying you’re going forward with Europop even though no one likes that idea and it doesn’t serve you well at all.