Earlier this week Kelly Rowland confessed to us that her fourth solo album was meant to awaken the same late ’80s/early ’90s sound that made a generation fall so hard, two decades later we’re still asking who’s going to bring real R&B back. So we asked Kelly to pick four songs from significant ladies of that era to remake if given the chance.
As she proved with her sexy-time playlist, Kelly has amazing taste. From Janet to Sade, Jill Scott to Anita Baker, we broke down the reasons K-Row needs to remake these pronto and perform them on tour. Vote to tell us if you think it’d be a Rowland Remake do or don’t.
Sade – “Kiss Of Life”
Why It’s Great: This single off platinum certified Love Deluxe became Sade’s seventh Top 10 R&B-charting song. You haven’t heard sexy saxophone until you’ve heard the sax-piano duet during the breakdown. The arrangement is the perfect backdrop behind Sade’s soft ad-lib wails before the bridge.
Why It’s Rowland: Kelly also has a rich and ethereal sound similar to “Kiss Of Life” which she showcased beautifully in the chorus of “I Remember.” Though the latter has a driving dance beat underscoring Rowland’s soft moans of “love” over the hook, you can still imagine that same honey-like belt pouring over Sade’s 1992 hit.
Janet Jackson – “The Body That Loves You”
Why It’s Great: Never released officially as a single over juggernauts “Any Time, Any Place,” “Again” and four other Top 10 Billboard 100 hits that overshadowed it, the album-track gives an exotic feel as Janet sweetly sings over bongos (and is that a pan flute?) to entice a lover to come get it.
Why It’s Rowland: Many of the lyrics on 1993’s Janet. sought to explore a woman’s perspective on sexual intimacy, a subject Kelly doesn’t shy away from either. You could hear Kelly of “Kisses Down Low” or “Motivation” sweetly sighing for her lover to “come get this body.”
Jill Scott – “The Fact Is (I Need You)”
Why It’s Great: The funk-edged tune is a “just flow” kind of single off Jill Scott’s sophomore studio album. Sang in Scott’s brilliant atypical spoken-word structure – no set verse/chorus frame – it’s four minutes of sweet lyrical rhymes carried along by a constant “do, do, do” background harmony that drives through Jill’s next couplet.
Why It’s Rowland: The lack of typical structure in “I Need You” would give Kelly a chance to explore a groove along and toy her sound. And we already know a more free-form sound suits Kelly as seen on her Talk A Good Game joint “Red Wine.” Not to mention Scott’s lyrics espouse the independent, yet underlying vulnerable tone of many of Kelly’s tracks.
Anita Baker – “Giving You The Best That I Got”
Why It’s Great: If there’s anything better than Anita Baker’s syrup-like alto sliding all over this track, I don’t know what it is.
Why It’s Rowland: I don’t know about you, but Kelly toying with her lower register on “Stand In Front Of Me” had me feeling some kind of way. Singing a Baker tune like this would get to showcase that range even more.
Check out the rest of the exclusive interviews, photos and more from our week-long salute to Kelly Rowland’s album Talk A Good Game in stores now.
[Photo Credit: Lauren Weissler]