The key of success

Over the past two years, prior to releasing her platinum-debut solo album dubbed The Way It Is, Keyshia Cole has proven herself to be undoubtedly one of the very few R&B crooners who can sing with an “a”: that girl can s-a-ng.

Keyshia Cole’s new album, Just Like You, touches various topics relatable to anyone (even the fellas) who has been in or currently is in a long, loving relationship. She mixes these subjects with airy, Mariah Carey-esqe hooks, and powerful yet painful verses trademark of Mary J. Blige.

Cole opens the album with a song about the long healing process with her smash single “Let It Go,” where she and Missy Elliot create yet another anthem for the ladies to sing along to throughout the summer of 2007, cajoling ladies to move on while hitting high notes over perhaps the most notorious Biggie beat ever.

Two tracks later, Cole slows down the pace and delivers the best material on the album over the next several songs. The third track, “Falling Out,” reveals a softer side of the often pit-bull-portrayed Coles, rarely transparent over a “Soulshock and Karlin” production, which instantly gives listeners the urge to snap their fingers along to the melody and almost even evokes the dreaded head jerk which hasn’t been seen since the “House Party 2” days.

Next comes “Give Me More,” which opens up with an electrical guitar sequence gracious enough to light up any stereo system as Keyshia Cole demands, “I need m-o-r-o-r-o-r-e…give it to me everyday, I need you in every way.”

The song “I Remember” follows, providing a new-and-improved version of “Love,” a past single from her debut album. “I Remember” may be the most emotional track present on “Just Like you,” which promises for an amazing live performance.

“Heaven Sent” is arguably the best ballad on a record filled with a ton of classic love lyrics backed with exceptional beat selection. “Heaven Sent” gives the listener powerful adlibs and a graceful hook that makes anyone fresh out of a relationship yearn for their lost love and even contemplate calling up a past flame.

In an age where piracy and technology have plagued record sales, crippling the market for all soul singers, Keyshia Cole’s album Just Like You, (filled with repeat-worthy ballads and club bangers) is definitely worth the $9.99 target price tag.