Two years ago, Keyshia Cole released her fourth studio album, Calling All Hearts. Although it was a great album, it wasn’t a commercial success. In fact, it is Cole’s lowest-selling album to date. Some people believe that the album didn’t do so well because the music didn’t resonate with her fans. “I was pregnant,” Cole said in a recent interview. “I was going through a lot with my family at the time. Some of the songs were about them. It was an extremely emotional time and it reflected on the album. When you’re pregnant, you’re 10 times more emotional about everything. There was just a lot going on back then.
Today, Cole released her fifth studio album, Woman to Woman. “It’s for women who have been through similar situations and can relate to me,” Cole explained in a recent interview, hoping to regain the support from her fans.
Woman to Woman includes guest features from Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Ashanti, Robin Thicke, and R&B newcomer Elijah Blake.
The album begins with lead single, “Enough of No Love,” featuring Lil Wayne. On the Harmony Samuels production, Cole sings about being fed up with a broken relationship. “I can’t stay here because I’ve had enough of no love,” Cole sings. The catchy chorus will have you singing along before you know it.
Following “Enough of No Love” is “Zero,” which features Maybach Music Group artist Meek Mill. On the mid-tempo track, Cole expresses her frustration with her man who continues to lie to her. As a result, she leaves him with nothing. “You see it pays to tell the truth, feel so sorry for you/ You could’ve had it all, too bad you gotta fall.”
On “Missing Me,” Cole reflects on a past relationship and is angry that things couldn’t work out. “Who do you think you are to say you’re the best that I ever had,” Cole sings. “I bet you missing me now that my love ain’t around.”
On “Trust and Believe,” the second single from the album, Cole confronts her unfaithful lover who has been creeping with her best friend. After learning about that, Cole wants nothing to do with him. “Trust and believe me, you’re going to need me/I’m so over you, go get lost.” This song is certainly an anthem for any woman who is dealing with a man who has cheated on her.
Following “Trust and Believe,” is “Get it Right.” On the new jack swing track, Cole believes her man is cheating on her. He has been wearing new cologne, didn’t recognize her in his favorite dress, and his sex game became very lackluster.
Cole recruits Ashanti for the title track of the album, which was co-written by Ashanti. The song finds Cole having a “woman to woman” conversation with a woman (Ashanti) who has been involved with her man. It is probably one of the best songs on the album and has the potential of becoming a single in the future
Just when you think the album is about heartbreak and pain, Cole takes things to a lighter note with sensual songs like “Wonderland” featuring Elijah Blake and 90’s-influenced track “Hey Sexy.”
“I Choose You” is another standout track off the album. Cole confesses that even though she is with a man who treats her right, she still has feeling for her ex. She tries getting over him and hating him but it doesn’t work. “I tried hating you, but I just love you more/ Compared him to you, but he can’t match your score,” Cole sings. Her vocals on this song are similar to her vocals on “Love.”
On the up-tempo track “Stubborn,” Cole self-reflects on how her stubborn ways has caused problems, when it comes to love. The song was produced by Rodney Jerkins and includes pop-elements, especially towards the end of the song.
“Next Move” features background vocals from singer Robin Thicke. It’s a nice song but Thicke could have sung more.
Cole ends the album on a positive note with “Signature,” a heartfelt song about Cole finally finding love. One could assume that this song is dedicated to her husband Daniel Gibson.
Woman to Woman is a masterpiece and is certainly one of the best R&B albums released this year. Although Cole went back to her roots with this album, she also showed growth in her vocal performance and overall delivery. There weren’t any ratchet lyrics like there were on her first album. Cole really gave her fans what they wanted on this project and that’s something to respect.
Standout tracks: “Enough of No Love,” “Zero,” Trust and Believe,” “Woman to Woman” “I Choose You,” and “Hey Sexy.”