After examining Rihanna‘s septuplet of albums, I decided to examine another R&B diva who recently released her fifth studio album, – Keyshia Cole (Woman To Woman). Of her five albums, Keyshia Cole has had 3 platinum albums in the span of 2005 – 2012.
1. Just Like You
- Release Date: 9.25.06
- Chart Performance: bowed at no. 2 with 281,000 copies; certified platinum 12.10.2007
- Singles: “Let It Go” featuring Missy Elliott & Lil Kim (no. 7); “Shoulda Let You Go” (no. 41); “I Remember” (no. 24); “Heaven Sent” (no. 28)
- Rationale: Just Like You is Cole’s most well rounded album. There is an absence of filler and it spawned four noteworthy singles. In addition to those singles, many other cuts could have easily been singles as well. This sophomore album was definitely the loftiest point of Cole’s career.
- Game Changer: “Let It Go,” featuring Missy Elliott & Lil Kim
2. The Way It Is
- Release Date: 6.25.05
- Chart Performance: bowed at no. 6 with 89,000 copies; certified platinum 2.15.06
- Singles: “(I Just Want It) To Be Over” (didn’t chart on Hot 100); “I Changed My Mind” (no. 71); “I Should Have Cheated” (no. 30); “Love” (no. 19)
- Rationale: The Way It Is was Cole’s introduction to the R&B world. Her first couple of singles stumbled, but “I Should Have Cheated” latched on while “Love” was an even bigger hit. Aside from the four singles, the cut also featured notable cuts “Love, I Thought You Had My Back” and the emotional “You’ve Changed.” The reason this album is second to Just Like You is it is a bit lest consistent in material than the stacked Just Like You.
- Game Changer: “I Should Have Cheated”
3. Woman To Woman
- Release Date: 11.19.12
- Chart Performance: bowed at no. 10 with 96,000 copies
- Singles: “Enough of No Love,” featuring Lil Wayne (no. 84); “Trust and Believe” (hasn’t charted on Hot 100 as of yet)
- Rationale: Woman To Woman is arguably Cole’s best album since 2006’s Just Like You. It is definitely her most consistent since then, bridging modern R&B and classic sensibilities. It isn’t that far ahead of A Different Me, but A Different Me was generally considered ‘different’ by many fans. Woman To Woman is standard Cole at her best.
- Game Changer: N/A
4. A Different Me
- Release Date: 12.16.08
- Chart Performance: bowed at no. 2 with 322,000 copies, her best sales week; certified platinum 8.30.12
- singles: “Playa Cardz Right” featuring 2Pac (no. 63); “Trust” featuring Monica (no. 76)
- Rationale: A Different Me built it’s gigantic first week sales off of the success of Just Like You, a hit surged by no. 7 hit “Let It Go” most notably. A Different Me only launched two notable Hot 100 singles, neither of which matched Cole’s earlier successes. Even so, A Different Me has a slightly different sound/tone than previous Cole albums, instant to listeners from the onset of the effort. Even so, A Different Me never compromised the basic underpinnings of Cole as a more refined R&B singer, etc.
- Game Changer: “Trust” featuring Monica arrived as a single to keep the effort afloat
5. Calling All Hearts
- Release Date: 12.21.2010
- Chart Performance: bowed at no. 9 with 128,000 copies; failed to be certified gold or platinum
- Singles: “I Ain’t Thru” featuring Nicki Minaj (didn’t chart on Hot 100); “Take Me Away” (didn’t chart on Hot 100)
- Rationale: Calling All Hearts was ultimately Cole’s weakest and least effective album, though it wasn’t really ‘bad.’ “I Ain’t Thru” proved to be a clunky single while the fine “Take Me Away” just didn’t have he juice to propel to ‘charting status’; both charted on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart. Even being Cole’s briefest affair and somewhat less consistent, there were some standout cuts like the Tank assisted “Tired of Doing Me” or the Timbaland produced “Last Hangover,” which gave Cole a different sound. Even so, it just didn’t appeal, particularly just a couple of day before Christmas in a stacked holiday shopping frame.
- Game Changer: None