"A Different Me" came out in 2008 as the third album from the Oakland-raised R&B singer, Keyshia Cole, who found fame performing songs such as "I Changed My Mind", "I Should Have Cheated" and "Let It Go" all prior to her dropping this as the Californian works with the likes of Polow Da Don, Ron Flair and The Runners on material which takes a Neo-Soul twists.
1. "A Different Me" (Intro)
2. "Make Me Over"
Off an introduction, you see that Polow Da Don and Ron Flair take over with the beats. In it you see that they begin things with a freaky joint which brings in a range of genre as it starts off from a Swing style and then as it progresses you see lots of Hip Hop Soul elements being implemented to really pull out the excitement which this album has to offer.
3. "Please Don't Stop"
Here you see that in spite of the fact that The Runners (responsible for hits form many hardcore Gangsta Rap artists) is behind the production, this one is kept in check with Ron Flair's input and so it is clamed somewhat and enables her to get into more high-tempo R&B filled with her trying out some House-inspired work.
You see that with this one, the mood of the music alters somewhat as the drive for the album shifts towards something which appears to be a lot more controlled in what it does. I would have to say that I wasn't rally as impressed with the results of this change, but I can see where the appeal is as she does much more typical R&B work, but I felt it was ultimately an unmemorable recording.
5. "You Complete Me"
This one dropped as the second single from the album and came as a moderate success for her. It is a soft little one, and sees that she works on beats which give some indication of the progressive nature of the music on this album, but personally I wasn't really one for this gentle approach to R&B as it didn't really pull out anything all that original to go on.
6. "No Other"
With this one you have a tune which has her on Kwamé's beats, and if you are aware of the work he has done (with the likes of Dru Hill, Will Smith and Mary J. Blige, then you will have some idea of what comes with this tune. However I felt that it didn't really do as much as him work does as you have some Hip Hop influence but, it is clear over-shadowed by plain R&B. Even the rap from Amina Harris (whoever she is) does nothing to boost this aspect of it, and so it just remains an average one).
7. "Oh-Oh, Yeah-Yea"
The Hip Hop side of things is made much more prominent here as she jumps on some bassy beats from The Outsyders (who's fame came with work with Britney Spears). The Queensbridge MC Nas gets a quick flow here, and so it appears to bring out this whole side of thing and act as a contrast to her excellent vocal performance.
8. "Playa Cardz Right"
This is a very significant track as it sees a highly unexpected collaboration as she gets the opportunity to perform a track which uses some material form the late Hip Hop legend 2Pac. It was also found on his 2006 record "Pac's Life", and seems to really fit in here as she tries out an emotive joint and makes big things come from it.
9. "Brand New"
Here you get a sensual track from the singer, and it has her really selling it as she is made to work on some watery production, and it really takes you into the atmosphere of the place she describes as see sings about her love. It is a gentle one and it really stands out for just about each aspect, but they all come together to create and all-round experience
She does a duet with Atlanta's Monica for this, the third single to drop off the album. I personally felt that it required some time to get into, but once you feel the way in which they come together for a powerful song about relationships, you have to fall for each element of it. It takes on a ballad form, but uses modern production to bring out a sound which allows some degree of progression in the material.
11. "Thought You Should Know"
You see that the R&B singer Tank gets the chance to lend his eighties-inspired production for this one, and I felt that this gave a massive boost to the material here as it brings out an aspect of the tune which you wouldn't really associate with the song at all, but it seems to support it once you feel it all coming together.
12. "This Is Us"
Here Cole jumps on minimal production as it sees her working to the acoustic guitar, the piano and a little synth for a very plain Pop song. It is purely for mainstream listeners, and has no appeal to those who would have enjoyed the rougher material from here, and I didn't feel it had much of a place here.
13. "Where This Love Could End Up"
You suddenly get a massive boost as Poke & Tone get on top of the beats and they turn things around towards the type of things which was absent from the tune prior to it with one which has her getting down to something which appears to take on much more Hip Hop influence in order to show her potential and diversity.
14. "Beautiful Music"
You have more from Poke & Tone here and I felt that it made for a banger of a joint for the final proper joint as you see that they get into the groove with one which uses a funky bassline to lead it as she performs an appealing one about an affair she is undergoing and how she doesn't want to thing about her partner when they are together.
15. "A Different Me" (Outro)
I saw this as a nice album from Keyshia Cole, but I thought that it suffered for the fact that it doesn't rally offer anything you wouldn't expect in their material. It has her getting into a few sides of her music, but I felt that as she dipped into the more commercial end of it, the album suffered.
I didn't know Keyshia Cole had released a new album so I had to listen to it as I really enjoyed her last two.
My favourite song from her last album was 'Heaven Sent' as it showed she could do a different music style and make good ballads too and this album 'A Different Me' seems to carry on from that and has tracks with a similar music style.
It is indeed a different side to Keyshia, a little less 'I don't love you no more' 'Shoulda let you go' and 'Let It Go' type of tracks (which were about hurt, a broken heart and moving on after relationships) that she has been popular for with her last couple of albums..
'A Different Me' was released in December 2008. The album has a good mixture of 17 tracks with the first track being a short 'Intro' to the album with Keyshia introducing the album with words 'introducing a sexier side of me'...
'Make Me Over' is an interesting track with an upbeat style and feel to it. The lyrics are a good listen 'wanna be made over, make me look pretty, make me nice, make me expensive....'
She sounds fantastic with her great voice and vocals accentuated with the jazzy background and great backing female vocals. The music style reminds me of Christina Aguilera's 'candy man' and I can see this being an interesting video already if one is made...
This track kicks the album off rather well, making you want to listen to the rest of it...
'Please Don't Stop' is a beautiful track with a slightly upbeat soundmix in the background and yet a slower style in the vocals, verses and chorus. It could be a good dance track and yet also makes an interesting RnB track.
'Erotic' really had my ears tweeked when I heard the beginning... The first part is a short Italian (it may be Italian or Spanish, I'm not entirely sure..) interval that is combined with interesting sound effects.
It is a lovely track, interesting lyrics about love, love making and it is really slow at first then the verses and the chorus pick up a more paced sound. It is different and has a lovely climax that will have a number of people listening to this one a few times I'm sure...
'You Complete Me' is also a beautiful track with great lyrics; it's about love and Keyshia sings with her passion like she has done with her previous tracks and makes this another great track.
'No Other' is one of the more upbeat tracks - it brings in some of Keyshia's previous music style - high pitched vocals and climaxes, a few heavy beats, the same passion, it has a really lovely background - you can hear a great blend of violins, drums, piano, the works... there's a rap midway by 'Amina Harris'.
'Oh-Oh, Yeah-Yea' - It is an interesting track with heavy bass and beats. It is a ballad, about love, relationships, good lyrics combined with a simple chorus and it also features Nas who raps midway the track giving it the hiphop flavour.
'Playa Cardz Right' - Was looking forward to hearing this one as it features '2Pac'... It is actually well done, sounds like he was really there as the track was really well-mixed and her vocals flow well alongside the rap in the verses and his added vocals in the chorus make a good mix.
The verses are slow, chilled out, again a lot of passion and you can't help enjoying the lyrics.
She says 'R.I.P brother' at the end; although I know 'brother' can be anyone really when used in that context... I thought I'd look up what 'connections' she had with Tupac and turns out that her first experiences in the music industry included her recording with MC Hammer and Tupac when she was 12 years old..
This track also appeared on Tupac's 'Pac's Life' in 2006 and is the main single on this album.
It should be a good one for the clubs I guess..
'Brand New' is my favourite track on this album. It has a unique backing soundtrack which has a lovely blend of piano and sound effects and is another slow style track with beautiful lyrics about love, love-making and it is one you could slow dance to.
I will be listening to this one for the next few days or months...:)
'Trust' is one of my favourites from her previous album 'Just Like You' and it is re-done as a duet with Monica on this album. It is showcases Keyshia's vocals really well once again.
'Thought You Should Know' is a slow, chilled out song with great beats and sound effects. She sounds great (almost unrecognisable..) and has interesting lyrics too 'you can come talk to me, you can come sit with me, all I want is your company....thought you should know it's gonna take what I want to get me home...' In terms of lyrics, it is the best on this album.
'This Is Us' is another beautiful track and one of my faves on this album, slow chilled out verses and intervals and a nice chorus. Great lyrics again... 'I do not need to find a million reasons why, some ways we're different but together we're so right, This Is Us and This Is How we Love...' It is a lovely track; maybe best not listen to it when you're sad as it sounds like one of those that would make you cry when you're sad. Love it...!:)
'Where This Love Could End Up' and 'Beautiful Music' are nice chilled out and yet slightly upbeat 'RnB' tracks that you can listen to while relaxing and also have a good dance to as the beats are well mixed and they get you in a happy cheerful mood.
These two tracks finish the album off and wind down the ballads well followed by the outro..
It's a lovely album, I'd buy it myself! Has to be her best work by far...
The cover is rather hot too! says it all... She's definitely played those cards right with this one as read somewhere that she also wrote or co-wrote each of the tracks, excellent work...
©marina321 Dooyoo January 2009; Ciao.com January 2009
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Different Me "Intro"
2 Make Me Over
3 Please Don't Stop
5 You Complete Me
6 No Other - Keyshia Cole, Amina Harris
7 Oh-Oh, Yeah-Yea - Keyshia Cole, Nas
8 Playa Cardz Right - 2Pac, Keyshia Cole
9 Brand New
10 Trust - Keyshia Cole, , Monica
11 Thought You Should Know
12 This Is Us
13 Where This Love Could End Up
14 Beautiful Music
15 Different Me "Outro"