Album Review: DK3 by Danity Kane

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Fans of the MTV’s Making The Band series and Sean “Diddy” Combs produced band Danity Kane had a reason to rage like maniacs last year after four of the original members of the quintet reunited and had plans to regroup despite the drama that ultimately broke them up back in 2009. Although, since reuniting as a quartet Danity Kane suffered quite a few setbacks. First by losing a member after Aundrea Frimbres decided to leave the group to begin a family of her own which she announced on their 2014 #NoFilterTour. Continuing on as trio, the girls rebranded themselves like other all star girl groups which dwindled down to three members prior.  Like En Vogue (EV3) and Destiny’s Child (DC3), Danity Kane began calling their trio, DK3. With a new moniker and new music on the way, what could get in the way of the now much more mature ladies? Well apparently all issues from the past were not put to rest because allegedly Dawn Richard decided to punch Aubrey O’Day in the back of her head, a story in which Shannon Bex corroborated. Following this the group broke up ultimately once again!

Between the drama of Aundrea departing and the altercation between Aubrey and Dawn, DK3 managed to release the first single from the planned future album entitled “Lemonade.” The Clipse “Grindin’ ” sampled haters anthem was just what the girls needed to get attention back on them while featuring YMCMB rapper Tyga, as their go to weapon. The feisty Hip Hop influenced R&B number was reminiscent of the groups 2006 debut single “Show Stopper” which featured then label mate Yung Joc.

After Danity Kane’s second disbandment Aubrey and Shannon announced that thanks to fan support, love, and dedication an album would be released for the fans in October 2014. Lo and behold the ten track compilation serving as their third album, fittingly titled DK3. The album features new songs that were performed on the girls latest tour as well as fresh unheard tracks from Danity Kane.

What’s refreshing about the DK3 album is the fact that the album does incorporate various genres of music. The opening track “Rhythm Of Love” is an Electro Pop thumper with killer beat that could stand alongside tracks produced by top DJ/producers turned artists like Afrojack and Calvin Harris! The early on mentioned lead single “Rage” begins as a minimalistic piano ballad. Eventually the song roars into an arena Rock influenced power ballad about being free and “[raging] at the party like maniacs.”

Aundrea’s presence is certainly missed on tracks like the Soul Pop flavored “Bye Baby” where Dawn takes over Aundrea’s opening verse. The independent women jam still packs a punch but is odd to hear minus Aundrea who originally set it off! The anthemic Urban Rock number “All In A Day’s Work,” which was performed on the recent live shows with Aundrea, is more noticeable because none of the DK3 members covered her verse. Instead the songs second verse by Aubrey is now repeated with effects. Still one of the high octane cuts from the album, the live Aundrea rendition certainly remains a better showing.

Dawn’s creative side is once again showcased by two tracks she helped co-write including “Tell Me.” The seductive Urban Pop tune finds Shannon delivering the stand out line “you want me half naked in stilettos/hanging from the shower rod in the bathroom” clearly inspired from Love & Hip Hop ATL’s Mimi Faust sextape. What’s interesting is the song leads into the following track “Two Sides.” A song which would serve great live as a stripped back showcase of each members vocals and the harmonies similar to the fan favorite “Poetry” featured on Welcome To The Dollhouse. Ironically the song could mirror the girls take on their now multiple breakups!

“Secret Lover” brings fans back to the classic sounds of sensual songs like “Sucka For Love,” “Lights Out,” and “Oooh Ahh.” The groovey 80’s themed Pop number has a throwback vibe with a modern touch. “Roulette” continues the throwback vibe on the album and sounds like a song that could be featured in a vintage workout video. Reminiscent of “Is Anybody Listening?” musically, the soulful midtempo “Pieces” lyrically sounds like the prequel to their highest charting hit, 2008’s “Damaged.” On the album standout Danity Kane croons on the Dawn led chorus “Is it OK if I give you my heart again/don’t break it to pieces.”

Overall despite the drama behind the scenes, it didn’t matter if it was 5 members, 4 members or the final 3 members; Danity Kane managed to create and put together an album worthy of purchase. To think the girls managed to create this album independently and without the assistance of a major label or their former mentor and boss Diddy, is commendable to say the least. So if you are a fan of Danity Kane’s previous bodies of work, push for girl groups (which are lacking in the current music climate), or R&B oriented Pop music, be sure to check out Danity Kane’s latest, to be determined although potentially final album, DK3.

Grade:

85/97

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