“The kind of song that’ll burst into a new life when played loudly in a club scene by the beach”
Digital Release: May 29, 2011
Physical Release: N/A
It is safe to say that Kelly Rowland’s album campaign – if you could call it a “campaign”, or say that said campaign pertains to any eventual album release, (currently titled, rather amusingly, ‘Here I Am’) – has been more fragmented that a shattered pane of glass. There’s been single after single, divided into more dance-orientated cuts for Europe-only releases while the more R&B-influenced cuts get the US-only releases, and still her album is planted firmly in a pipeline, blocked by her and her record label’s disinterest to complete the project.
So, now, it appears what they have been waiting nearly ten months for has finally come. That golden opportunity in the form of The X Factor promotion is presented itself, which may cheapen the idea of getting an album out, just in time for a live performance towards the end of the series, and it may cause pedants everywhere to retort about the connotative laziness of it – leaving the show to do the largest chunk of promotion – but still, who’s to dim her only glimmer of hope for such a long time?
Teaming up with Italian DJ Alex Gaudino for a super-summery house hit to re-establish herself as an actual somebody, and at least attempt to convince listeners she has a thread of relevance, Kelly flaunts her unquestionable vocal talents whilst accompanied by a chiming, piano-led house track that bears much resemblance to her team-up of yesteryear with David Guetta, ‘When Love Takes Over’, only, it’s not as good.
To keep it brief, it’s a partial success. It’s definitely the kind of song that’ll burst into a new life when played loudly in a club scene by the beach, with a hundred other people fist-pumping the air in perfect unison, with headaches so loud the music’s blocked out entirely. But in the same breath, it must be mentioned that ‘What A Feeling’ is a very standard house track with none of the melodic finesse that could be expected of Gaudino when one but merely glances at his past works. Kelly sounds emotionally hollow, and even though she’s singing about falling in love, all you can think about when the chorus and that repetitive piano hook are bashed through your head a couple of times too many, is how over-processed and soulless she sounds.
It’s a decent house track, and little more than that. But it does have radio on it’s side on account of it being very radio-friendly, and it’ll no doubt kick-start the summer playlists of many listeners. However, if you consider how many tracks, hits or not, released in the past few months can be celebrated on exactly the same grounds for merit as this one, the shine begins to wear away quickly and the reality of how uninventive these ten-a-penny house hits are comes to light.