[New Release]Kelly Rowland and.moreKelly Rowland’s sophomore attempt hits all the right notes at the start, unlike her solo debut in 2002. In the first single, “Like This,” featuring Eve, Rowland hits back at her critics singing, “The girl that they used to know ― done changed/Now they say a ‘Miss’ befo’ they mention my name.”
This defiant attitude is strong for the first few songs but it wilts with “Flashback,” signaling a return to the lachrymose and stilted lyrics that unfortunately overshadow the upbeat and bouncy tempos of many tracks on the collection.
“Every Thought is You,” “Interlude,” and “Still in Love With My Ex,” comprise a triad of deeply personal songs sandwiched between club jams. Lackluster ballads, coupled with horrendously didactic lyrics like, “Through the words of this song/I wanna answer them,” makes one wonder whether Rowland can really “bump like this.” If she had stuck with the tried-and-true formulas she worked so well with Destiny’s Child, she might have been able to use her sass to greater advantage. By Renee Park
Genre:R & B/Pop
The Beastie Boys, that hip trio from the back streets of the Bronx, New York, are back with a new album. However, instead of spitting out lyrical master pieces, their previous trademark, the Boys have gone instrumental.
The trio’s skills may not be demonically brilliant but for long-time Beastie Boys fans the groovy 70s music has beats to get the body moving.
The songs are neat and the performances are adequate. The tracks swing with melodic rhythms indicating that the band has made a smooth transition to their new style.
However, some tracks lack power, domination and charisma. The album has mojo but lacks the strength to hit the ball out of the park.
The trio deserve an ovation for trying something new. But as a big fan of the Beasties’ immature humor and respect for the weird people, I would have preferred them to stick to what they do best and produce sharp lyrical raps.
By Lee Ho-jeong
The Beastie Boys
Album: The Mix-Up
Genre: Time warp rap
Listening to the fourth track on Vanness Wu’s second solo album “Just One Dance” is guaranteed to get R & B fans onto the dance floor. The No. 3 track “Fan Shou,” translated as “Let Go” is likely to make any romantic girl want to rest her head on her man’s shoulder. It may be ironic, but Van Wu has both a powerful and a soft voice that is cheery on gloomy days and calming for those times when hyper is the theme.
Wu, a Taiwanese-American, made his debut in 2003 as a member of “F4,” a Taiwanese band. His previous solo album was called “Body Will Sing” and he was featured on the Asian version of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.”
The beats in his latest album are similar to that of Usher or Se7en, especially his “Friday Night.” However, there is something about Wu that makes you wonder what that something really is; his unique and dynamic style of music can be only expressed by him. Perhaps it is the Mandarin lyrics in all 11 songs, though most of the rap is done in English.
By Lee Eun-joo
Label: Sony BMG
Genre: Pop/R & B