Beyonce and Kelly Rowland have released arguably the two most anticipated R&B albums this year. Both artists have singles that are in heavy rotation on radio stations across the country and both have their albums selling well both stateside and abroad. Beyonce’s “4” reached platinum status not too long ago and Kelly’s “Here I Am” debuted at number 3 on Billboard’s top 200 album charts. But whose album is better?
So what we decided to do here at Urban Belle Magazine is to compare Beyonce’s album, “4” versus Kelly’s album, “Here I Am” to see which one is better. We did not compare the bonus songs that appeared on the Itunes and Deluxe editions. So without further ado, here is my take on both albums track by track.
Track 1: “1+1” vs. “I’m Dat Chick” – The sappy ballad versus the upbeat dance track. It really seems that Beyonce tried too hard on “1+1” and the way she sang this song is absolutely annoying. She took one too many song cues from The Dream, whose hand prints are all over her album. Winner: Kelly.
Track 2: “I Care” vs. “Work it Man Feat. Lil Playy” – Both of these songs are some of the better songs on their prospective albums. The writing and singing on “I Care” is an improvement compared to the opening track and perhaps should have been the opening track for “4”. Kelly’s “Work it Man” is the stereotypical R&B song with an unknown rapper, Lil’ Playy, who should perhaps pick another stage name. Despite Lil’ Playy, who may be the producer’s little cousin that most likely begged him to hop on this song, Kelly has perhaps another single that should fly up the Billboard charts. Winner: Draw
Track 3: “I Miss You” vs. “Motivation Feat. Lil Wayne” – Many will say that “Motivation” is Kelly’s signal to the world that she can indeed hold her own as a solo artist. Will this song stand the test of time? Perhaps. Will this song annoy you after you hear it on the radio 50 million times? Definitely. Is it better than Bey’s “I Miss You?” No. The highlight of “I Miss You” are the lyrics, co-written by rising star Frank Ocean. Winner: Beyonce
Track 4: “Best Thing I Never Had” vs. “Lay It on Me Feat. Big Sean” – Beyonce’s lead single “Best Thing I Never Had” versus another possible second or third single for Kelly. Both songs will most likely be in rotation on many radio stations and “Lay It on Me” will be played heavily in the club, if it is not already. Fortunately for us and our ears, both songs are not bad actually. But in the slightest of margins, Beyonce gets the edge. Winner: Beyonce
Track 5: “Party Feat. Andre 3000 & Kanye West” vs. “Feelin’ Me Right Now” – Beyonce definitely gets the nod with “Party.” It has the upper-hand not just for the Andre 3000 feature, but because it is just a better song. Party just has a more organic feeling to it while Kelly’s “Feelin’ Me Right Now” feels kind of forced and fake. Winner: Beyonce
Track 6: “Rather Die Young” vs. “Turn It Up” – Both songs are good, however Kelly is starting to get redundant with the club tracks. It would be nice to actually hear Kelly’s range much like we are hearing Beyonce’s. On “Rather Die Young,” although the lyrics of the song are kind of sappy, Bey really seems to pour out her soul on the song. Winner: Draw
Track 7: “Start Over” vs. “All of the Night Feat. Rico Love” – The Runners produced “All of the Night” and that beats anything Beyonce could do. The Runners are very underrated producers. Winner: Kelly
Track 8: “Love on Top” vs. “Keep it Between Us” – Kelly’s “Keep it Between Us” is definitely the better track. “Love on Top” just does not stick with me too much and it is nice to finally hear Kelly sing a slow jam on this album. Winner: Kelly
Track 9: “Countdown” vs. “Commander” – Dance tracks are either hit or miss and to me, Kelly’s “Commander” is a miss. “Countdown”, on the other hand is a pretty decent track. I like the use of the Boyz II Men sample on the hook. Winner: Beyonce
Track 10: “End of Time” vs. “Down for Whatever Feat. The WAV.s” – It really seems like Kelly is running with that Electric Daisy Carnival (Techno, DubStep, EuroTrance) sound on this album as an attempt to gain a larger cross over audience. Fortunately for her, “Down for Whatever” is not a miss especially when compared to “End of Time.” Winner: Kelly
Beyonce also has two extra tracks on her album “4.” They are “I was Here” and “Run the World (Girls).” Both songs didn’t really move me and “Run the World (Girls)” is just terrible honestly.
Overall, Kelly’s album just seems more crisp and polished then Beyonce’s. Kelly really seemed as if she approached her project as if she had something to prove to her audience and that definitely paid off. Beyonce, on the other hand, just seemed to be going through the motions and using the Dream as a writer on some of her songs just did not work out as one expected. Perhaps it is time Beyonce goes back into the studio and approaches her next project with the same passion that Kelly seemed to have on “Here I Am.”