Showing posts with label k michelle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label k michelle. Show all posts

Thursday, December 14, 2017

video review: 'kimberly: the people i used to know' by k. michelle

Well, this was frustrating... honestly, I would have probably preferred to burn something out of my backlog that do this, but these reviews all do pretty well, so we'll see.

Next up, something from that backlog and I've been looking forward to this one, so stay tuned!

album review: 'kimberly: the people i used to know' by k. michelle

This is the third K. Michelle record I will have covered on this show... and at this point, I'm questioning why I'm even bothering again beyond the fact that it's the end of the year and there aren't that many new releases getting added. And yet going back to my last review, I discovered to my amusement that I was asking these exact same questions and yet ultimately made the decision that I'd probably wind up covering her again - she was such a powerhouse of blunt personality that I kept venturing back in the hopes that there'd be some refinement in her writing or that she'd fix her consistently exasperating production problems. 

But going into this record, which was promising to be more focusing on a more vibe-driven R&B sound - and was planning to do so by bringing in Chris Brown and Jeremih, lovely - I also remembered that for as mostly positive as I've been on K. Michelle's work in the past, I've rarely felt all that compelled to go back to either of the records I've reviewed from her. Now granted, K. Michelle is enough of a personality that her plans to delve into figures in her past could be entertaining, if a bit melodramatic - she's not one to shy away from airing dirty laundry - but at the same time, it was also over an hour with over twenty songs, and there aren't many artists who can sustain that sort of momentum. And yet did K. Michelle manage to surprise me here?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

video review: 'more issues than vogue' by k. michelle

I don't know why I'm always surprised that a K. Michelle record is actually good, but this is pretty damn solid, definitely liked it. Except 'Rich' - goddamn, that song is terrible.

Next up, think I'm ready for Elzhi, so stay tuned!

album review: 'more issues than vogue' by k. michelle

When I first covered K. Michelle near the end of 2014, I found myself surprised. That had been a year where I was taking tentative steps to appreciating more R&B, and as such I had been game to K. Michelle's somewhat unique position. She had played the reality show game but you can tell there was a unique songwriting voice that came through her record Anyone Want To Buy A Heart?, a fiercely independent and imaginative writer that had genuine promise. That record had the potential to be a smash... potential that wasn't realized thanks to frustratingly cheap production and a vocal performance that brought volume but not quite the tact or emotive subtlety to match the writing. In other words, definitely a good record, but a flawed one all the same.

As such I was strongly debating whether I would even bother to cover her third release, More Issues Than Vogue. On the one hand, it was reportedly a greater stab towards differing genres and styles, pushing more artistic boundaries - of which K. Michelle had shown a tendency towards on her sophomore release, there had been some odd instrumental choices there. But what gave me pause were the songwriting credits, namely that K. Michelle didn't have writing credits at all on over half of the album. This is coming after an album where she had writing credits on every single song and a lot fewer cowriters overall, and it gave me concern that her unique personality would end up diminished, especially when there was no guarantee her production team was top quality. But hey, it could turn alright, so I dug into More Issues Than Vogue - how did it turn out?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

video review: 'anybody wanna buy a heart?' by k. michelle

And that's the last of the album reviews for 2014. Bit of a short one, but I'm glad I got there.

Next up, we've got a whole slew of lists coming up, the ones you've all been looking for. Stay tuned, folks, it's gonna get crazy up in here!

Monday, December 22, 2014

album review: 'anybody wanna buy a heart' by k. michelle

If we want to speak about one of the biggest trends of 2014, we need to talk about R&B. Not only did it come back in force and with the exception of Taylor Swift do a number on mainstream pop, it also showed itself willing to experiment and brought a ton of different sounds to the table. I might not have been a real R&B fan a year ago, but I'm think with artists like FKA Twigs, Jhene Aiko, and the return of stalwarts like D'Angelo, I think I'm on board this time.

And since I'm one of the few critics who has covered the entire spectrum of R&B this year, from the stuff gunning for mainstream airplay to the underground, I figured that I should check out one last artist before the year's end - and one that I had significantly mixed feelings on going in. K. Michelle was signed to Jive Records back in 2009 before they bought out her contract, but she quickly accrued a lot more fame tied to the VH1 reality show Love & Hip-hop: Atlanta. I suspect some of that fame coloured the release of her debut album Rebellious Soul last year on Atlantic. Which was a bit of a shame, because it wasn't really a bad album. Not a great one, but if you're looking for some early 2000s-inspired R&B with modern synths and a surprising amount of texture from a woman with real pipes. Now I'm not going to say that era of R&B was always my thing, but I could definitely respect it and that K. Michelle had some real talent behind her.

That said, if I hadn't started getting requests - and I mean a lot of them - for this album, I probably would have passed it by - but then I started seeing other things, like how the critics who did talk about it called it one of the best R&B records of the year. That's a lot of high praise, and considering this was looking to be a mainstream accessible R&B record with no rap features - which is rare - I definitely gave a listen. Does it live up to the hype?