When it comes to the fourth solo release by Rowland, most folks will likely be talking about “Dirty Laundry.” The song finds Rowland openly singing about professional jealousy of friend and former Destiny’s Child mate Beyoncé — whose success she celebrates even as it makes her feel awkward — and, more stunningly, the abusive relationship in which she became entangled.
As for putting herself out there, it is brave (and dramatic) stuff. But the track itself, a forgettable slow groove, makes the tune more compelling as confession than music.
People should venture further into “Talk a Good Game,” because a good chunk of the rest of the album — a mix of easy pop, shiny dance tracks, and a dab of retro soul — reflects a better balance of sound and sentiment.
Rowland relishes the kick-him-to-the-curb kiss-off of “Gone” as the narrator tells her trifling ex about his new chef. “Your dinner’s waiting down the street and you can have it your way,” she sings, with sweet acid in her voice.
The frantic, ’80s throwback “Freak” offers some Prince-ly undertones and bites a bit of “Thriller” for a naughty good time on the dance floor. The wistful yet throbbing club track “I Remember” would likely bring a smile to the face of the late Donna Summer, whom Rowland inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.
Other guests getting in on the “Game” include Destiny’s Child buddies Beyoncé and Michelle Williams for the breezy “You Changed.” (Out Tuesday)