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Talk a Good Game [Deluxe Edition]

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Kelly Rowland 6/18/2013

Review

Kelly Rowland had moderate early success as a solo artist, but her releases seemed reactive to the climate of contemporary R&B -- like she was either struggling to find her own voice, or was stifled by the industry. Just as it seemed like she might be neglected for good, the Top 20 Hot 100 hit "Motivation" and the following Here I Am placed her at the forefront of pop-R&B. Instead of a four- or five-year wait -- the length of the gaps between her second and third albums -- Talk a Good Game followed within two years. Unsurprisingly, its makeup is quite similar to that of Rowland's previous release. It begins with a pair of suggestive/explicit tracks in "Freak," a jam co-produced by Danja and Rico Love, and the Mike Will collaboration "Kisses Down Low." After "Motivation" and the conspicuously absent "Ice," the latter verges on overkill but contains a hard-to-resist melody and light-hearted touch. The following "Gone" is a violent derailment that, like Janet Jackson's superior "Got 'til It's Gone," incorporates Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi," but the album quickly stabilizes with satisfying, if mostly unexciting, material. Other than the lack of European dance-pop, the main difference between this set and Here I Am is the presence of Rowland's most revealing and powerful song. "Dirty Laundry," made with the-Dream and Carlos McKinney, is an adeptly ornamented ballad that openly details Rowland's envy of Beyoncé's solo success, as well as the pain that came from an abusive relationship. The mood then lifts with "You Changed," in which she's joined by Beyoncé and Michelle (just Michelle, no last name), but it's anticlimactic, no match for "Nuclear," the track the trio released earlier in the year. Along with the expected suggestive and/or explicit jams, significant deep cuts include like the moody and mellow "Red Wine" and the deluxe-only "Sky Walker" -- another Dream/McKinney track. ~ Andy Kellman
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Freak Kelly Rowland 4:33
  3. 2 Kisses Down Low Kelly Rowland 4:13
  4. 3 Gone Kelly Rowland 4:15
  5. 4 Talk a Good Game Kelly Rowland 3:20
  6. 5 Down on Love Kelly Rowland 4:7
  7. 6 Dirty Laundry Kelly Rowland 5:28
  8. 7 You Changed Kelly Rowland 3:55
  9. 8 I Remember Kelly Rowland 3:40
  10. 9 Red Wine Kelly Rowland 4:19
  11. 10 This Is Love Kelly Rowland 3:34
  12. 11 Street Life Kelly Rowland 3:41
  13. 12 Stand in Front of Me Kelly Rowland 3:50
  14. 13 Sky Walker Kelly Rowland 3:26
  15. 14 Put Your Name on It Kelly Rowland 4:42
  16. 15 #1 Kelly Rowland 4:28

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