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Review: Rowland mixes R&B, Euro sound on new CD

The Associated Press, Monday, July 25, 2011, 9:59am (PDT)

Kelly Rowland, "Here I Am" (Universal Motown)

Ever since her heyday with Destiny's Child, Kelly Rowland has struggled to define her solo singing career, unlike former bandmate Beyonce, arguably pop's ultimate superstar.

Rowland's first two albums showed promise, but were subpar on the whole. Now with her latest release, "Here I Am," she makes another attempt to show she has finally found her musical niche.

Rowland's latest album is filled mostly with R&B melodies and some European uptempo dance tracks. She displays confidence in her self-worth with a few songs that should compel you to press replay. One in particular is her chart-topping single "Motivation," featuring Lil Wayne, which proves that she has the potential to fully carry herself as a solo artist.

The sexy vocalist also has a host of producers, including Rodney Jerkins, Jim Jonsin, RedOne and David Guetta. But the top-notch producers are not enough to elevate Rowland's star status on this album. Most of the 10 tracks struggle to meet the mediocre mark and simply do not measure up to the expectations brought by her infectious "Motivation."

The closest Rowland gets to good is on "Feeling Me Right Now." She's bold in her infatuation with herself on the mid-tempo track, claiming she can escort herself home without the presence of a man after a night out at the club. She sings on the piano-driven track, "I fell in love in the club tonight/I'm so feelin' me right now/I wanna take her home, take her home/'cause I know I'll love her right."

The "Feeling Me" track, along with "Keep It Between Us," "All of the Night" featuring Rico Love, and "Turn It Up," fit Rowland's strong and likable voice. However, she falters on the Guetta-produced "Commander," which sounds more like a track that should have been made for Rihanna rather than Rowland.

Unfortunately, seven years after Destiny's Child's last album, Rowland is still trying to find the route to her own musical destination.

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CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: On "Keep It Between Us," Rowland croons impressively on the buoyant ballad for a satisfying listen.

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Follow Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mrlandrum31

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