Track Review: Kelly Rowland Sets Grand Return With “Coffee”

Kelly Rowland has been silently dropping some of the smoothest and most addictive songs of her career over the past few years. 2018 brought us “Kelly,” a braggadocious trap banger, and in 2019, Kelly gifted us with a three-song EP that featured a future cult classic in “Don’t You Worry” and a sultry midtempo called “See Me.” With “Coffee,” her first official non-holiday solo single since 2013, Kelly lends her honeyed vocals to a sensual ode to morning sex.

Kosine from Da Internz provides a soft soundscape for Kelly to spit her metaphors over. The sparse production features a combination of a sparkly synth line and deconstructed drums dripping with afrobeats influence. The first half of the song also douses Kelly’s voice in reverb which allows for an echo effect that ups the ante on the track’s hypnotism. Lyrically, Kelly collaborates with Syd to figure out exactly how many ways they can squeeze morning sex into a metaphor. The song cuts right to the chase with “coffee and sex in the mornin’/breakfast in bed, got me moanin'” and emphasizes the point with lyrics like “I know you gotta go but breakfast isn’t over” and “they say morning wood do a body good.” Out of context, the lyrics make seem a little corny, but between her smooth vocal performance and rap-influenced delivery Kelly makes it all sound grown and sexy. The general mood of the song is enjoyable, but the chorus could have benefitted from a switch in production whether that means the addition of some guitar or added harmonies in the background. In that vein, the little wordless vocalizations on the bridge/post-chorus are solid but they should have either led into or provided a backing for a more well-rounded bridge because the song is so teasingly short.

“Coffee” isn’t an instant home run, but it’s a promising step forward for Kelly and it has lots of hit potential.

Score: 60

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