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Here I Am CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 Nov. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B0062WTX80
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,908 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Here I am is the third studio album from former Destiny's Child and now X Factor judge, Kelly Rowland. The album includes dancefloor tunes "Down For Whatever" and "Commander" alongside ballads like "All Of The Night" and also sees former Destiny’s Child star Kelly working with an all-star cast of songwriters and producers including Darkchild (Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, The Black Eyed Peas, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson), Tricky Stewart (Beyonce, Rihanna), Rico Love (Usher, Nelly, Beyonce, Chris Brown), RedOne (Lady Gaga) and guest stars Lil Wayne and Big Sean.

BBC Review

No, she's not Beyoncé. Then again, her BFF and former bandmate has the market cornered when it comes to Glasto-stealing, Obama-charming, baby-bump-baring RnB divas. But even if these days her pop career seems to proceed on a single-by-single basis, Kelly Rowland hasn't had a bad run since Destiny's Child disbanded. In fact, she's racked up eight UK top 10 hits either on her lonesome or as a pretty flashy featured artist. And if there must be talent show judges with catchphrases, K-Ro and "put it down" are infinitely preferable to Alexandra Burke's recent attempt to make "OK dot com" happen.

Sadly, much of Here I Am lacks the sass that Rowland displays on The X Factor. The album's first half is a succession of synthy mid-tempo tracks helmed by the sort of expensive RnB producers whose studio doors are always open: Christopher ‘Tricky’ Stewart, Rico Love, Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins. Admittedly, some of it is pretty decent – particularly the Lil Wayne-assisted Motivation and the Rihanna-aping I'm Dat Chick – but personality is lacking.

Thankfully, like a football team given a half-time ear-bashing by the guv'nor, Here I Am steps up in the second half. It's all a bit scrappy though, as this 17-song ‘International Edition’ of the album grabs pretty much whatever it can to maximise its appeal. Rowland's summer house hit, What a Feeling? Check. The Diplo remix of Motivation? Check. A couple of David Guetta collaborations? Check – and who cares that When Love Takes Over is now two-and-a-half years old?

Inevitably, this turns Here I Am into a bit of a grab-bag in its latter stages, but it's a grab-bag that only Tulisa Contostavlos could claim not to find some pleasure in. Clubbier cuts like Forever and a Day and current single Down for Whatever suggest that Rowland's future could lie as a kind of dance diva with street cred. If she's quick, she can crack on while B's under doctor's orders to keep her feet up.

--Nick Levine

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As a fan of Kelly Rowland I've got her two first albums and while I have enjooyed them both I have to say that Here I Am is her best album to date. OK, so some of the songs on the album are few years old, such as When Love Takes Over and Commander but that aside it's still a great album with lots of catchy songs.

With 17 songs on the CD I think it's value for money and there's only four songs on it that I'm not keen on. I think Kelly shoudl probably stick to the more up tempo songs as I think that's where her strengths lie. As for the remix of Motivation, I don't think this adds much to the album.

My favourite songs on the album are:
I'm Dat Chick
Work It Man
Motivation
Lay It On Me
Feelin Me Right Now
Turn It Up
Commander
Down For Whatever
When Love Takes Over
What A Feeling
Forever and A Day

Kelly is a great singer, it's just a shame she's not as successful as her bandmate Beyonce as she is just as talented. I have Beyonce latest album and I have to say that Kelly's is far better.

I've had this album pretty much on repeat since I bought it and I'm still not bored of it. With her judging role on the X factor I hope Kelly becomes even more successful in the UK
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Format: Audio CD
This album has been dogged by delays and some very weird management, which has resulted in it not gaining nearly as much success as it should. It's actually a very strong album, but my only complaint is that the UK edition (this version, with the purple cover), is very much an album of two halves, with the first half being mostly R&B and the second half being mostly dance. This detracts from its cohesiveness and also means that, as the UK singles have mostly been dance ones, they're not necessarily representative of the album.

The R&B half of the album (tracks 1-8) has several quite strong midtempo tracks, particularly "Lay It On Me" and "Feelin' Me Right Now". The flagship US single "Motivation" is a bit of a grower - I didn't like it at first, as it's a bit of a slinky ballad without any of the impact of the dance singles, but it's definitely grown on me.

The dance half of the album (tracks 9-17, with a few exceptions) feels like almost a different artist, and is led by last year's David Guetta-produced hit "Commander". Even this half of the album isn't really non-stop dance, as it's interrupted by the ballad "Heaven N Earth" and the midtempo "Rose Colored Glasses" and the Diplo remix of "Motivation", but as these are all perfectly good tracks in their own right I can hardly complain. My main problem with this half is that most of the big dance tracks on it have already been released as singles ("Down For Whatever", "Commander", "When Love Takes Over", "What A Feeling" and "Forever And A Day"), which means that there's barely any new material that continues in this vein. The result is that, based on the UK singles, it's perfectly possible to pick this up expecting more pop-dance music and end up disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
It has been a long wait, but Kelly really delivers here. The album is very consistent and it really is difficult to pick out the highlights. I'm now looking forward to the International Edition for even more treats from Kelly. The fast stuff is really very good and they are promising more of it, but the two main slowies on this album, All Of The Night and Keep It Between Us, do hint at another side to Kelly worth exploring and are also very addictive. This version is worth it for the amazingness of Each Other alone, which makes up for Heaven and Earth, which is somewhat of a letdown, I have to say, as it lacks edge. Please support Kelly, as her talent is often overlooked and she deserves much more success!

Update 09.12.2011
Although I still stand by my original review and think that the full international edition, based on the music alone, is still well worth the 5 stars I gave back then, I really must vent my disappointment at what has turned out to be the final version. It is an insult, not only to us as customers, but also to Kelly herself, that they have simply attached a few hits (or not) from the past few YEARS to fill out the album and then call it a new release. Excellent as these songs are, it is just lazy and nothing other than a grabby move by her managers. I doubt she is that happy about it herself - she must feel as if her record company has no belief in her at all. Admittedly, a new customer gets a really good, long album when they buy the new version, but most people will have bought the earlier verson and will not necessarily bother with this. As a completist and hardcore Kelly fan myself, even I am not jumping on this. Even in 2 years when this cost 1p from some merchant, I'd probably still begrudge the postage, and that is saying something.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Up until this album, Kelly Rowland's career had been mainly hit and miss. Her solo efforts ''Simply Deep'' and ''Ms Kelly'' both had a couple of hit singles, but the actual albums themselves never lived up to the expections for a former Destinys Child member. ''Here I Am'' however is undoubtably her strongest, most solid album yet, most of the songs are catchy and single-material, where Kelly really finds her sound and sounds confident in herself as a vocalist.

I'm Dat Chick - The album kicks off with this club/dance track. It's a slight mistep in the start to the album, taking on a Euro Dance style sound but with a mash of electronic sound effects and overlapping vocals thst do sound a little overproduced. It's not the best on the album, and probably not the best choice for first track, but it's just ok.
Work It Man - This is much better, an RnB mid tempo song that's really catchy and could have been a single choice. Kelly's vocals are silky and convincing, and the synth sound of the chorus really blends well.
Motivation - The biggest single from the album, and a US no1. Motivation is the most explicit Kelly's ever gotten on a song, and though some of the lyrics are quite sexy, it's not in the slightly-embarrasing way that Rihanna's latest songs have been. Lil Wayne's featured on the song which isn't really needed, but he's not exactly terrible.
Lay It On Me - Another big hit single, and it's easy to see why. The best song on the album in my opinion, it's a dance/RnB song that hits just the right balance of sexy and playful.
Feeling Me Right Now - carrying on the RnB flavour of the first half of the album, this song is a Destiny's Child style song about female independance and strength. The lyrics are pretty clever and funny, and it's a solid little song.
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