Former Destiny’s Child member Kelendria “Kelly Rowland” Weatherspoon released her latest project, ‘K’, this past Friday. This EP was, despite the uninspired title, a surprisingly solid project. However, it was also indicative of her general effort as an artist, as well as what she needs to improve.
‘K’ is the first EP Rowland’s released since 2013’s ‘Talk a Good Game’. To hype up ‘K’, Rowland released its three singles: “Black Magic”, “Hitman” and “Crazy”. She released a stand-alone single “Coffee” this past year as well. Hearing “Coffee” I had high hopes for whatever came after that whether it was more singles or a full body of work.
However, after “Hitman” and “Black Magic”, I felt my excitement for the project slipping away. I feel as though the videos and the songs were very reminiscent of another former Destiny’s Child member, Beyonce. In particular, it sounded too much like the music from Beyonce’s ‘Black Is King’, and her ‘The Gift’, which diminished my excitement for any other Rowland releases.
Rowland also has a bad track record in marketing, which is key to becoming a successful, mainstream artist. She seems to just throw things out there and hopes people will listen to them. If it catches, then she tries to push it, but never before that. We have gotten plenty of singles since ‘Talk a Good Game’, but Rowland never did much promotion for the records outside of posts on social media. We got very few performances of the songs, too, if we even got any at all.
That’s the problem of being a Kelly Rowland fan. You expect the bare minimum and nothing more. There was no reason for her to have her most successful era to date with ‘Here I Am’, only for her next project to flop so spectacularly. It’s sad, too, because that follow-up was ‘Talk a Good Game’, which I think is still her best body of work to date.
So, with all that in mind, I had very little hopes going into ‘K’. I half expected a boring comeback project, and definitely nothing beyond that.
I was thoroughly shocked when ‘K’ turned out to be a solid project. The opener, “Flowers”, captured my attention almost immediately with its excellent harmonies and production value.
Things were slightly less promising with the next track, “Black Magic”. I hate to say this during Black History Month, especially as a black man, but “Black Magic” was my least favorite song on ‘K’. It just couldn’t keep my attention. So I was glad that track three, “Hitman”, pulled me back in. It reignited my hope and made me mad that I didn’t listen to it while it was a single.
The next three songs also held my attention fairly well, which gave ‘K’ a good grade in my book. My favorite songs were “Flowers”, “Hitman” and “Speed of Love”. They really solidified the project for me and gave a great peek into the artistic side of Kelly Rowland.
As we enter this new decade of the world, I hope Rowland will grow more as an artist and promoter. Hopefully, she can finally get accolades for her work outside of Destiny’s Child.