Singer and songwriter Keyshia Cole was only the tender age of twelve when she first met MC Hammer. As it turns out, this meeting would forever change her life. As a direct result of that meeting, she made the decision to go into the music industry herself. As a matter of fact, she was only 15 years old when she moved to Los Angeles in order to pursue a music career of her own. Since then, she has put together seven studio albums. Here they are, ranked from worst to best. There’s also a YouTube link for each one.
7. Just Like You (2007)
This was Cole’s second studio album and was produced by Geffen records. She actually started working on the album almost immediately after she finished her debut album, “The Way It Is.” Wanting to be sure that she left no stone unturned, she either worked directly with or asked questions of a number of other songwriters and record producers as a means of making sure that she turned out the best album possible. As such, she ended up working with people like Rodney Jerkins and Missy Elliott. She even had people perform on the album as guest vocalists, including Anthony Hamilton and Amina Harris. The album went platinum, selling more than 1.7 million copies. It made it to number two on the charts in the US, and topped the R&B charts there as well.
6. The Way It Is (2005)
Released by A&M Records in June of 2005, this was Cole’s first studio album. Aside from it being her debut album, the album is special because she either wrote or co-wrote every single song that’s on it. She also collaborated with a number of well-known artists, many of whom also worked with her on her second studio album, 2007’s “Just Like You.” The album went platinum, selling 1.6 million copies. It ultimately reached number six on the Billboard charts in the United States and made it to number two on the R&B charts for several weeks.
5. A Different Me (2008)
This was her third studio album, produced by Geffen Records just like her previous album had been. In fact, she worked with many of the same individuals that she had worked with during the course of her previous two albums. At just over 53 minutes in length, the album is a respectable length. Like her two previous albums, it features a great deal of R&B, Blues and a little bit of Pop thrown in. In addition to Geffen Records as the main producer, both Imani records and Interscope also had a hand in making this album a reality. Eventually, the album went platinum in the United States by selling a million copies. Like the album that she had previously released, it made it to number two on the Billboard charts and stayed at number one on the R&B charts for several weeks.
4. Calling All Hearts (2010)
This was her fourth studio album, released in December of 2010 and recorded in both 2009 and 2010. There are actually two different versions of the album, the standard and the deluxe version. The deluxe version is almost 11 minutes longer than the standard version, coming in at just over 54 minutes long. There are also a number of guest appearances on the album such as Faith Evans and Nicki Minaj. Perhaps the thing that makes this one so unique is that it was written by Cole herself. Roughly half the songs were written before she met her fiance while the other half were written after the fact. Many people claim that they can see a distinct difference between the two halves, even the first time they listen to the album. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as well received by the public. In fact, It only sold 450,000 copies in the United States. It still made it to number nine on the Billboard charts, but that was a far cry from the performance of her previous albums.
3. Woman to Woman (2012)
This is Cole’s fifth studio album. Most of the people featured on the album are the same ones that she has consistently worked with in the past. When the album was released in November 2012, it was a critical success. In fact, music critics praised the album for being different from anything she’d ever done before, saying that she was growing as a musician. However, the public didn’t necessarily agree with the evaluation of critics. In fact, the album only sold 329,000 copies in the United States. While it managed to crack the top 10 on the Billboard charts, it never went any higher than that. Despite that fact, dedicated fans absolutely love this album and consider it to be among the best work she has ever done.
2. Point of No Return (2014)
In this, her sixth studio album, released in October 2014, there are a number of differences. For starters, she includes some Hip-Hop and Soul in addition to her standard R&B collection. Furthermore, this particular album is produced by Universal Records, marking a big difference from the status quo with her previous work. Perhaps the idea was to shake things up a little bit. Unfortunately, the album didn’t sell as many copies as she had hoped but it did make it to number nine on the Billboard charts. While not everyone was as impressed with this release as her previous work, a lot of people would argue that this is among the best material she has ever created.
1. 11:11 Reset (2017)
The title of the album itself clues you in to the fact that Cole had already made the decision to change things up a bit here. As opposed to doing business with Universal again, she signed a deal with Epic Records to produce this, her seventh album. Critically, the album was a far cry from anything else that she’s ever done. It only made it to number 37 on the Billboard charts and didn’t quite reach 10,000 copies sold in the United States. That said, people that are dedicated Keyshia Cole fans very much believe that this album should sit in the number one slot when it comes to her body of work, largely because it is so obvious that she is finally coming into her own here. Of course, that involves enduring a few growing pains as well, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.