Music this week

For those who have been waiting to hear a strong female RnB vocalist,wait some more.

Written by Deepika Nath | Published: January 8, 2011 11:32:39 pm

Calling All Hearts

Keyshia Cole

Geffen Records

$9.99,rating: **

For those who have been waiting to hear a strong female RnB vocalist,wait some more. Keyshia Cole,who has been touted by many as the new-generation Mary J Blige,seems to have become a background singer in her fourth album,Calling All Hearts.

Collaborating with Rap Barbie Doll Nicki Minaj on the first single,I aint through yet,is a strange choice for Cole,who had claimed she was more musically mature in this album. Her soft,slow vocals don’t sound aggressive enough when she screams “about to take over yeah,this is my year”. The song bombed on the charts and Cole admitted to regretting the decision to work with Minaj. The only track that allows Cole to showcase her vocal talents is If I fall in love again with Faith Evans,who brings the track to life with her ’90s soul and hip-hop charm. Tired of doing me comes a close second,but has no surprise element.

Of course,if you work with Timbaland,you are assured a hit —he’ll find a way to make it work. Last hangover is,thus,a refreshing change and almost reminds you of Cole’s previous three albums,all certified platinum hits,where she had more to offer than crying about heartbreaks and betrayals,and angry women with foul language rapping their way in the middle of the song. Cole plays too safe in the rest of the album though,where songs end up sounding too similar and too cautiously clean.

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