Keyshia Cole is engaged to Cleveland Cavaliers player Daniel Gibson, with whom she had a son with in March. Cole is happy – and that is what Calling All Hearts is about.
Happiness is a virtue, and I’m happy Cole is happy. But I’m not necessarily happy with this album.
The album’s lead single, “I Ain’t Thru,” proves that featuring Nicki Minaj isn’t a “Get Out of Jail Free” card when it comes to music. She’s a lyrical goddess – but she can’t save something that’s already dead.
Still, Cole herself apologized and expressed her regret for choosing this song as the public’s first taste of the album; so even she knew it was nothing special. It was a slow start to a, for the most part, slow album.
My bitterness from the first track might have resulted in me being unreasonably critical for the rest of the album, but it wasn’t terrible (“Better Me” kind of was, though. Sorry Cole). Tank and Faith Evans collaborate with Cole for the album’s shining moments: “Tired of Doing Me” and “If I Fall in Love Again,” respectively.
The girl’s got some pipes – possibly (probably) one of my favorite voices on the radio. What Cole needs is a song that will flatter her vocals while still remaining applicable to a wide audience. That’s what this album is missing.
Cole: for your next album, drink a Red Bull (or a Four Loko?) before recording it. You’ll still be happy, but that happiness will be met with an upbeatness that will be evident in your music. Then when the crash hits, you can focus on the slow songs that make up the entirety of Calling All Hearts. Then we can all be happy.