K. Michelle • Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart? • Atlantic • US Release Date: December 9, 2014
K. Michelle can sing – no questions asked. Yes, she’s quite outspoken and definitely ‘rough around the edges’ in regards to her personality, but she can flat-out sing. Arguably on her sophomore album, Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart?, Michelle outperforms her sound, enjoyable debut, Rebel Soul. Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart? Still isn’t exactly the most ‘refined’ listen – the f-bombs are interspersed throughout – but Michelle has definitely ‘stepped her game up.’
“Judge Me” is the first hint that K. Michelle has plans to ‘wow’ on her sophomore affair. Big-voiced and connected from the get-go, the R&B singer sounds invested and truly sells what she’s singing about. “Love ‘Em All” might be even better as K. Michelle presents her viewpoint on love as shallow: “Cause they think I love ‘em / but I love ‘em all…” Basically, she suggests she’s reversing the stereotypical role of the man by being the female leading on the guys. “Sex is irrelevant / just a game in my head I’m playing” and “I broke another heart today” characterize K. Michelle’s view of ‘love.’
“Going Under” keeps the momentum going strong, as well as Michelle’s pipes top-notch. She asks at one point, “who’s gonna pick me up / who’s gonna give a f*ck?” Unsurprisingly, Michelle sings about her favorite topic – love and maybe more pertinent to this song, heartbreak. On “Cry,” K. Michelle states fiercely, “I’m bout to go in, go in…I’mma do something I never do/ I’mma try to hurt you too.” Basically Michelle suggests she’s going to be vindictive and make him suffer for all the pain she’s suffered, regardless who the man is. While it’s some kind of nightmare for the man who desires K. Michelle, it’s another compelling narrative of heartbreak.
“How Do You Know?” maintains consistency, placing K. Michelle against a piano backdrop. Maintaining heartfelt vocals with notable nuance (the cracks in her voice are breathtaking), there is no sign of letdown at this point. “Hard To Do” doesn’t concede anything either, particularly any sense of honesty. K. Michelle claims missing her boo is “way to hard to do,” so she’s still willing to “put that pretty little thing” on him and “would rather be f*cking” him. Yep, that’s the K. Michelle we all know. Seems shallow, but a broken heart makes you crazy, and that’s the sentiment of “Hard To Do.”
Standout single “Maybe I Should Call,” continues the ongoing saga, as K. Michelle is nothing short of pissed off. “She’s having the child I should’ve carried,” she sings on the first verse, “I’ll be damned if y’all get married.” Ultimately, K. Michelle questions whether she should call her ex who she still loves despite the circumstances, but can’t bring herself to do so.
On “Something About Tonight,” K. Michelle leaves little to the imagination, opening with quite the salvo: “Oh I wanna roll one up, pull my hair up / got a cup full, don’t give a f*ck…” She goes on to detail the sex, including “Is it your good looks or your lips below that make me blow” and “I got my butter cake all in your face / my oven’s hot, just watch me bake.” If the innuendo wasn’t obvious, the simplicity of the refrain speaks for itself: “Something about the night / that keep me coming…”
“Miss You, Goodbye” seems to find K. Michelle slowly moving past her ex. She praises him still, but also criticizes him “I miss the way we used to talk / but I don’t miss your lies.” It’s as good as anything else, much like the soulful “Build A Man,” where K. Michelle wishes she could make her own ‘Prince Charming.’ Though it clocks in at over six-minutes thanks to an interlude, “Build A Man” is spot on.
One of the most unique joints comes by way of penultimate cut “Drake Would Love Me.” Citing Drake’s most memorable songs such as “Best I Ever Had,” “Make Me Proud”, “The Motto,” and “Worst Behavior,” K. Michelle claims Drake would be the kind of man to treat her the way she should be (“Drake would love me…I’d be the best he ever had / he’d be on his best behavior / he would make me so proud”). Finally on “God I Got It,” K. Michelle ‘sees the light’ about love and life, concluding the album soundly as it initiated.
Perhaps surprisingly, Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart? Is nothing short of a brilliant album from K. Michelle. Referencing the opening line of this review, K. Michelle can sing. But here, K. Michelle is really pouring her heart and soul into the music, making that rougher side seem less ‘brash’ or at least its balanced out with more depth here. All in all, very well played K. Michelle!
Favorites: “Love ‘Em All,” “Going Under,” “Maybe I Should Call,” “Miss You, Goodbye,” “Drake Would Love Me”