Kelly Rowland – Here I Am

(Universal Motown)

Rating: N

Destiny’s middle child, Kelly Rowland, sexes it up on her third solo album, an unsurprising pop effort that fails to find a distinctive voice for the singer. Rowland has found success as a dance diva of late, but save for a pair of big shiny club jams courtesy of producers David Guetta and RedOne, Here I Am concerns itself with the kind of bland, radio-friendly R&B pop that equates sex appeal with self-confidence.

That said, the most interesting song is also the sexiest: producer Jim Jonsin’s spacious, slinky R&B jam Motivation, a welcome reprieve from pulverizing, vaguely hooky fare like Turn It Up and Work It Man. Rowland is a forceful but unambitious singer, and her producers compensate by mixing her voice as high as possible. The effect is mind-numbingly obvious: just because she’s loud does not mean she’s assertive, sexy or confident.

Top track: Motivation

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