The Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta reality show star known for causing controversy on set has gone and released an impressive debut album Rebellious Soul that features songs on love and relationships and the various trials and tribulations that come along with it. Turning the attention to her vocals and away from her television exploits, K. Michelle manages to snatch and keep the listener’s interest in her album from start to finish.
“I don’t want any drama. I just want to create that music that makes you feel so so good.” – K. Michelle
On “Can’t Raise A Man“, the fourth track off of the debut album, K. Michelle addresses the women who are trying to change the men that still act like boys with hard-hitting lines like, “if his momma couldn’t do it what makes you think you can train a boy to be a man, it’s too late” K. Michelle speaks with the wisdom of a woman that has gone through this situation, taking on the role of an older sister figure advising the young impressionable listeners of her demographic to leave these men behind.
With her list of musical influences including music legend Mary J Blige, K. Michelle showcases a discerning similarity in subject matter with the Queen of Hip Hop/Soul as well as an unquestionable vocal intensity over which a steady drums and piano-led instrumental serves as a sonic bed on this song. The infectious backing harmonies that shine throughout the track also makes “Can’t Raise A Man” an instant favourite for those who love a soulful piece of R&B that they can sing along to. Clear-cut lyrics that make the message of the song easy to understand and an incredible voice to match, makes me a fan of this track which will definitely be put on repeat numerous times.
“Can’t Raise A Man”:
“A Mother’s Prayer” on the other hand is an emotional tribute to her son with such heartfelt lines as, “those dreams you have I want you to chase them“, shows a side which many Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta viewers may not be familiar with, but many will enjoy seeing. Lyrics such as “I would’ve been dead & gone but I found purpose when I brought you home” show the troubled past of the singer but also how she found hope in her son’s birth, which brought a welcome change into her life.
The song begins with a soft guitar being strummed and even softer vocal melodies that slowly bring us to K. Michelle’s stirring singing. The use of instruments is minimal, letting her voice shine through for the track which is ideal for such an emotional song that requires raw emotion to be brought to the forefront which K. Michelle delivers on.
This song shows off her versatility and expands upon her abilities to not only create upbeat club hits but also slow it down so that listeners can experience her softer, more vulnerable side, which I admire.
“A Mother’s Prayer”:
A relaxed and captivating instrumental backdrop of grand piano arrangements, bass guitar strings and hand snaps, play over K Michelle’s soulful voice on “Damn” as she sings about being scared to love and “feeling some kind of way” about being in love, with lyrics such as “I’m a coward when it comes to love, start to fall for someone and then I run”, reflecting and mirroring the overall theme of the song. Simplistic in its sonic delivery courtesy of Grammy Award-winning producer Eric Hudson but stirring and resounding in her vocal delivery, “Damn” is an essential song on Rebellious Soul with its classic soul leanings.
With the incredibly popular “V.S.O.P” serving as the lead single for this album, Rebellious Soul debuted impressively at number 2 on the US Billboard charts. Even though this album is much softer than what many of her long-term fans will have been used to hearing from K. Michelle courtesy of her early singles and previously released mixtapes, K. Michelle has set a high standard for herself, easily rivalling the likes of other popular R&B artists such as Tamar Braxton, Alicia Keys and Elle Varner. For those looking for new emerging talent in R&B, K Michelle is certainly worth checking out and getting acquainted with.
Purchase: K. Michelle – Rebellious Soul (iTunes)