Keyshia Cole

Calling All Hearts

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Whether attributed to the downward trend in album sales or its very title -- one that likely made instant skeptics of those who didn't want Keyshia Cole's sound to change -- the merely-gold-selling status of A Different Me must have greatly impacted the makeup of Calling All Hearts. There are no upbeat pop-oriented songs, and stylistic diversions are not part of the program, either. It is something of a refinement of Cole's first two albums, and yet it involves a revolving door of songwriters and producers. While Ron Fair is as present as ever, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Timbaland, Irv Gotti, Chink Santana, the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and Chuck Harmony represent a mere fraction of the collaborators. Slow and midtempo material dominates, and so do lyrics illustrating turbulent relationships, though "Take Me Away" -- a highlight -- beams. It drags in spots, due in part to an absence of a "Let It Go"-type track to break up all the introspection and pain, but Cole delivers for those who want to hear a moody, emotional outpouring.

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