COVER STORY | In my opinion, Kelly Price is to 90’s R&B what Yolanda Adams is to Gospel music. When she opens her mouth and sings you feel as though you are on a roller coaster ride of emotions. You go through every twist, turn, highs, and lows as her effortless singing command full attention.
There is just something about when 90’s R&B music is played you immediately begin to bob your head, snap your fingers, and reminisce about where you were and who you were with when a particular song is playing. This is exactly what happens with me every time I listen to Kelly Price’s debut album. It was on August 11, 1998, we were blessed with her debut album. There was much anticipation around this album as Kelly Price was already known in the music industry as an accomplished songwriter and background vocalist for Mariah Carey.
The first single “Friend of Mine” was gaining spins on the radio as it told a tale of a woman’s pain, broken heart, and cheating. But it was the remix of “Friend Of Mine featuring Ronald Isley and R. Kelly that had everybody and them momma in their feelings lol.
I listen to Soul Of A Woman just as much now if not more as I did in 1998. I’m sure back then I burned a hole through that CD. Let’s take a deep dive into my favorite songs Ms. Kelly’s debut album.
“You Complete Me (feat. Daron Jones and Quinnes Parker of 112)
Who does not love a good duet especially from the 90s era. The production of this song puts me into that slow-motion two-step kinda vibe. Just hearing the piano keys along with the snare drum they both begin to tell a harmonious story. And who doesn’t like a song produced by these 2 from 112? This song tells the story of being in love with someone, seeking love elsewhere, and then realizing what you already had completes you. You can almost picture them singing to one another with raw emotion. Daron sings in verse one “Greener pastures never grew cause everything I needed I already had with you” and verse two Kelly sings “it took this tragedy for me to see that you are the only one, baby you complete me” you can not get this type of emotion these days. Then they took us to the bridge of the song… whew! And let’s not forget about the adlibs.
“Take Me To Dream”
So let me just say again it’s the instruments that draw me into this song. The piano, the violin, the clarinet, and the string section all harmoniously setting up the beginning of the song. It also gives Set It Off vibes from the song when Cleo was shot. In this song she talks of feeling like her lover has grown apart from her, wondering how to fix it, and dreaming of how they used to be. I remember singing this in the car feeling just like this with my boyfriend at the time. But my dream turned into a nightmare lol. Glad I dodged that bullet. But like any of her songs Kelly starts out low vocals to draw you in then at the end take you to church. You couldn’t tell me I was not jamming when the end part would come on.
“Soul Of A Woman”
When this song comes on I’m immediately snapping my fingers and head bobbing to the beat from the Toni Tony Tone song “Whatever You Want”. In this song Kelly sings about a man losing a good woman and the way to get her back is through her soul. Of course, the adlibs at the end do it for me. But I also like the interlude that goes with this song. There she sings of needing healing for her soul. Which I believe we all have said a time or to.
“Friend Of Mine” ( feat. Ronald Isley and R. Kelly)
I mean what can I say?!?! You have Kelly Price signing the pain her best friend betraying her by sleeping with her husband and find the evidence. You have Ron Isley as Mr. Biggs, and of R. Kelly being the villain that he is known to be. This was like a 90’s R&B opera. I remember watching the video and Kelly signing and crying with mascara running down her face while packing her suitcase. I was mad for her and then the clip where she’s walking with her best friend smiling like nothing was wrong… I wanted to beat her up lol. Black woman everywhere could relate as we all have been through this type of pain before and the guy coming up with a lame reason or trying to lie his way out of the mess he created.
There are other songs such as “Secret Love”, “Her”, and “Lord Of All” that are all just as good. This was a solid debut album and will always be a 90’s R&B classic.Leave a comment