The release of Kelly Rowland's debut album Simply Deep, firmly fixes the spotlight on...
Joy Dunbar 2003
The release of Kelly Rowland's debut album Simply Deep, firmly fixes the spotlight on the 22 year old. It also highlights she is more than a mere backing vocalist for Beyonce Knowles. Her inconsistent and monotonous, lightweight, commercial soul album has also ignited controversy in music circles: Will the release of a successful solo album mark the end for Destiny's Child - one of the most successful girl groups of all time? If the triumph of her number one, Grammy Award winning single "Dilemma" is anything to go by the break up of the group may not be a problem for Kelly.
In addition to this gong gathering ditty we have "Make U Wanna Stay" - another stand out moment on the record. A track inspired by Destiny's Child album Writings on the Wall featuring Joe Budden thats about keeping your man interested. Whilst not scoring any points for an original theme, this is R&B free from the formulaic musical clichés with seductive beats, strong lyrics, and it succeeds where most of the album, essentially, fails to deliver.
The Sade influenced "Stole" which is about universal life experiences highlights Kelly's soulful, spine tingling singing voice. However, it is much like that of her contemporaries - Alicia Keys, Mary J Bilge and Tweet and the album verifies she is only emulating the genre and failing to make an unique contribution or impact.
Ms Rowland makes a faint break from the Destinys Child ethos as "Train On A Track" attempts to rebel against her former sound with the occasional, edgy rock chords and heavy use of guitars. However, this uninspiring, longing love song tries too hard to promote her shift away from the group and interferes with the structure of the album.
Simply Deep endeavours to demonstrate another side of Kelly Rowland, as a song writer and an independent solo artist. The albums main weakness is that it tries to offer too much diversity and Kelly tries too hard to stand outside her former incarnation. However, if you are a fan of R&B music the in frequent high points make this must for your collection.