On “Intro (Last Tango),” Keyshia Cole laments the cycle of fighting, sex, reconciliation, and fighting with her man. It’s a familiar treadmill for the singer, who has made a career out of giving voice to strong women persevering after love’s disappointments. The problems with her intermittently engaging sixth record are that her musical vision hasn’t developed appreciably after more than 10 years, and her view of relationships has failed to evolve. She still sings from the point of view of women who settle for cheating, unreliable men. It’s as easy to question her narrators’ taste in partners as it is to admire their forbearance. These mid-tempo songs are as emotionally raw as ever, but you’ve heard every sentiment from Cole before. Thankfully, her producers provide some slinky, tuneful tracks (“New Nu,” “She”) while coaxing out some of the singer’s more expressive vocals. Hopefully, now that Cole’s at the point of no return, next time she’ll dare to explore uncharted territory. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “She”Ken Capobianco can be reached at email@example.com.