With Kelly Rowland recently announcing the release date of her 4th studio album, ‘Talk a Good Game’, it has come to my attention that she will be battling fellow songstresses Ciara & Ashanti for the prized position at the top of the charts (or at least the highest placing in the Top 10). Join me in evaluating the prospects for each R&B diva who are all dropping their new albums June 4th below…
I hate to say it, but I must; it’s a wrap for Ashanti. The fact that I didn’t even bother using a picture for her at the top of this article shows she is far from a major contender who will be lucky to reach the Top 30 let alone Top 10. There is absolutely no buzz surrounding this album AT ALL which is a shame because the former Murder Inc. princess has significantly stepped up in the vocal department and has been working her tail off to get this project off the ground with no label backing. ‘Braveheart’ was due to come out almost TWO whole years ago and still nothing has transpired. So far she’s tried to ignite talk and excitement for the album by releasing 3 singles which all failed to set the charts alight. I personally enjoyed ‘The Woman You Love’ and thought it was destined to become a hit on the R&B charts as it was promoted very well, but clearly Billboard had other plans. ‘No One Greater’ wasn’t exactly the most exciting of tracks, it was mediocre and deservedly flopped. ‘That’s What We Do’ packed a lot of punch and was very catchy. However you can’t deny that it sounded VERY dated, it sounds like something that would’ve been huge in 2006 or 2007. Tenacious as ever, a fourth single was released last night by the name of ‘Never Should Have’. I wholeheartedly commend her for stepping out of her comfort zone and trying a new sound but once again she seems to be unaware that we are in 2013. This song not only sounds about 5 years old but it has Leona Lewis/Jordin Sparks reject written all over it. Unfortunately this song most likely will follow suit like the others and nose dive on the charts. I honestly don’t understand what has happened to Ashanti over the years in terms of both quality and commercial success. Her first three albums were BANGING but then she lost her way after that and now she delivers subpar material that’s either stuck in the past or just uninteresting. Let’s be frank she’s already pushed back this album 2/3 times now, she’ll probably push it back again but if release date doesn’t change this time, all I have to say is…Are you REALLY that confident that this album is actually going to sell?
It would be an understatement to say that the road to ‘One Woman Army’ has been long, winding, a struggle, strenuous…I could go on. Nonetheless it seems that Ciara is not only finally ready to release her long-awaited album but she might actually have a solid hit on her hands preceding the release. After ‘Sorry’ & ‘Got Me Good’ both not doing what they needed to do with the latter failing to chart at all, it seemed that ‘One Woman Army’ was going to suffer the same fate as the infamous ‘Basic Instinct’ and many people had begun writing her off as has-been (as if people hadn’t started already). ‘Body Party’ was then announced as the 3rd single and upon first listen, I definitely appreciated the song but I wasn’t sure if it was the hit she desperately needs right now. However I was proven wrong as last week the Future-helmed jam debuted highly on the R&B charts coming in at #39. With a video in the works the song being serviced to radio in the coming weeks, it looks like CiCi may at last have the comeback she’s been yearning for (at least in the R&B world). Let’s just hope and pray that Ciara’s team have a impeccable promotional strategy to stimulate interest in the song and it’s housing album because we all know they have a history of missing amazing opportunities (‘Overdose’, ‘Livin It Up’) and unfulfilling a song’s potential (‘Like A Surgeon’, ‘Turn It Up’).
While Ms Kelly has seen much success in European & Asian markets in her decade long solo career, the last 2/3 years has finally seen Kelly Rowland step out of Beyoncé’s shadow in stateside territory. Kelly’s stock as a solo entity has increased tremendously with her last album ‘Here I Am’ topping the R&B/Hip-Hop tally while also scoring her first number one single in the States with ‘Motivation’. She’s also spent her time lending her vocals to numerous collaborations featuring on tracks by the likes of Sean Paul, Ludacris, Big Boi & Future. There’s also discussion of her getting her own sitcom on BET and let’s not forget she hosted the red carpet show for the Academy awards earlier this year. Its clear Kelly Rowland is doing all that she can to become a multi-faceted brand. Current single ‘Kisses Down Low’ is presently making up for all the missteps that were made with ‘Ice’ as she cleverly premiered the video the same day the song was serviced to rhythmic radio stations. ‘Kisses Down Low’ is making great strides every week on both the Hot 100 and R&B charts, it’s certainly on its way to becoming another hit for Kelly. All that is needed now is television performances and radio interviews to push her music. Though ‘Here I Am’ was her US breakthrough of sorts, it seemed that after ‘Motivation’ ran its course on the charts, other than releasing 2 more singles that were poorly promoted she kind of abandoned the project and the era didn’t reach the heights it could’ve but hopefully she rectifies those mistakes with ‘Talk a Good Game’.
So who do YOU think is going to succeed and falter? Let us know by leaving your thoughts below!