Review Roundup: Kelly Rowland – ‘Talk a Good Game’

Talk a Good Game

Kelly Rowland gets real about sex, relationships, and Beyoncé on her most vulnerable album yet, Talk a Good Game. On the follow-up to 2011′s Here I Am, the Destiny’s Child diva calls on Wiz Khalifa, Pusha T, The-Dream, and her fellow DC members, with production from Pharrell, Rico Love, Mike WiLL Made It, and more.

She works hard for the money on the gritty “Street Life,” reunites with Beyoncé and Michelle on the break-up song “You Changed,” and airs out her confessions on The-Dream-penned “Dirty Laundry.”

Did the critics reward her for her openness? Find out below.

Entertainment Weekly: Rowland serves up a smorgasbord on her triumphant and sometimes profane fourth studio album. B+

USA Today: Two songs—the Joni Mitchell-sampling “Gone” and the gritty “Street Life”—take her out of her comfort zone. Neither song is a home run, but at least she’s shrugging off the shadow. 2.5/4

Chicago Tribune: An album that will please both those who have grown up alongside Rowland and those young enough to think of her as part of the canon, Talk a Good Game isn’t always the safest move. As a result, it’s the right one. 3/4

The Boston Globe: As for putting herself out there, it is brave (and dramatic) stuff. But ["Dirty Laundry"] itself, a forgettable slow groove, makes the tune more compelling as confession than music.

New York Daily News: The album has a focused sound, based on the slow grind. As on many of Rowland’s most effective songs of the past, her latest keep the center of gravity low. The songs let her slippery voice slide over loping, bass-driven beats. 3/5

SPIN: A sliver above 2011′s hit Here I Am, this one shows that even when she’s going through hell, Rowland steps out with sure footing, a girl-next-door who belongs on top. 8/10

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Freak,” “Gone,” “Dirty Laundry,” “Street Life”

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  1. damien

    ppl have been sleeping on kelly album!!


  2. kate



  3. IVY.

    Most of these people who are “reviewing” these albums don’t even know shit about the genre or artist they’re reviewing. I fucking hate this media bullshit.

    Kelly released her best and probably the best R&B album of the year and niggas are sleeping. Due to incompetence.


    G18 Reply:

    @IVY., True!!! Only the fans know what real music is. :)


  4. Brandon

    Maybe it has to grow on me….it wasn’t what I was anticipating at all….


  5. thedon

    F*ck the critics.. The album is dope


  6. Marsha lotus

    Freak I love


  7. Taylor

    Kelly Rowland deserves the upmost success cuz she works it !! Btw .. just heard “Unity” on the radio. Still one of my all-time favorites from Ms.Kelly =)


  8. Rowlandstone

    Wow the reviews are actually good. My mama did a great job!!! #talkagoodgame #rowlandstone


  9. Talk a Good Game

    A solid B. Great job Kellz! 2013 is yours!!!


  10. Queen Kelly

    YASSSS! Girl you did it with this album! #rowlandstone #talkagoodgame


  11. Kat McPhee

    I agree with @Taylor – love “Unity” by Kelly Rowland .. epic ballad !!


  12. || Album Sales Predictions: Kanye West, J. Cole, Mac Miller, & Kelly Rowland

    [...] « Review Roundup: Kelly Rowland – ‘Talk a Good Game’ [...]

  13. REVIEW: Kelly Rowland’s “Talk a Good Game” | Hot 96.3

    [...] works hard for the money on the gritty “Street Life,” reunites with Beyoncé and Michelle on the break-up song “You [...]

  14. Deejay

    I think the reviews are pretty accurate. It’s like she took one baby step up from her last album. It almost sounds like the same thing. I expected the album to be fitting of it’s title Talk A Good Game; but it wasn’t as sassy as she promised. As a matter of fact it gets boring at some points. And this is coming from someone who loves this chick. But hey, she got my money.


  15. qwer

    do yall really expect an A+ effort from a singer who contributes nothing creatively to her own music? Until she develops some artistic talent there’s always going to be soul missing from her music.


  16. Bx

    I haven’t bought the album. But I have heard about 5 songs and it seems as though she put a bit more effort into this one. 2011′s album dragg


  17. Jay-Me

    I have mixed emothions about this album. Some songs I flat out have no time for (Freak, Kisses Down Low, Down on Love, Red Wine) but the rest are fire. Good Effort Kelly.


  18. The Shaded Truth

    Judging from the singles I thought the album was going to be a bit gritter. So initially I was a little disappointed but after the second listen I’m hooked. I like how she took old school (real old school) samples combined with traditional themed lyrics and made it modern. I like the production too. One thing I will say is that she should sing more next time. She has beast vocals but she doesn’t use them nearly enough.


  19. Kyle

    I love the title track; she sounds sexier than ever on that song. “Red Wine,” “Stand In Front of Me,” and “Gone” are my other favorites. If you buy the deluxe edition at Target, you get “Feet to the Fire” with Pharrell and “Love Me Till I Die” as bonus tracks. Overall I think this is a really solid album!!!


    Kyle Reply:

    @Kyle, Also, anyone notice how the song “Freak” is the SAME EXACT song from Jamie Foxx’s album from 2010, “The Best Night of my Life.” I thought that was kind of interesting. I used to love that song from Jamie’s album.


  20. Martin

    “Red Wine” and “Feet To The Fire” are the best songs on the album hands down. Those are true jams. “Gone” is nice too.
    It’s funny how Rap-up’s favorite tracks turn out to be the weakest songs for me, “Freak” and “Street Life”.
    That’s a good album.


  21. Just ME

    This album is straight trash!!! What’s this the 4th album and the have all sucked!!! Don’t make no more solo albums cause they all go WOOD!!!


  22. amian

    this her best album i love all the songs. Her voices is incredible.
    If you like true rnb this is for you. PERIOD

    all i expect is a reedition with some up tempo.

    go kelly!!!


  23. Davyd69

    Her best album to date and I really like that she killed the pop songs. Here I am was very good bur no the pop songs to me !!!


  24. kennedy

    She killed it,I lv each nd every song…well done Miss kelly


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