Song – “Finally Free”
Artist – Kimberley Locke
Album – Four for the Floor
Season – 2nd
Place – 3rd
There are two things that I can remember about Kimberley Locke. First, how surprised I was when I discovered she was the one who sang that “8th World Wonder” song I had been hearing all over the radio; and second, when she participated in that amazingly ridiculous season of Celebrity Fit Club. Oh man, did I love watching that season of CFC. Remember when that irritating jerk from Saved by the Bell basically made Kimberley his punching bag on every episode? Yeah, I’m openly admitting I loved every minute of it! Watching him push her buttons every week was such a guilty pleasure.
Anyway, back to Kimberley.
She finished in third place behind Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard and still managed to land a record deal with Curb Records. As I mentioned before, she had a pretty successful first single from her debut album One Love. For some reason I feel embarrassed admitting this, but I quite enjoyed “8th World Wonder.” It still pops up on the radio every now and then, and I can easily sing along without hesitation. (*hides face in shame)
After this, Kimberley had a string of other halfway successful songs on AC radio, mixed in with a few flops as well. Oddly enough, she seems to be somewhat of a “Christmas Queen” with three of her Christmas songs hitting the number one spot on the AC chart. Wonder why her Christmas album only sold around 3,000 copies—go figure I guess.
After the release of her second album, Based on a True Story, Kimberley was dropped from Curb Records. Some time after this, I was surprised to learn she had become the first artist signed to Randy Jackson’s new dance-oriented record label, Dream Merchant 21 Entertainment. Kimberley Locke and dancy club music? Huh? For reals?
Come to find out there was some reasoning behind the genre move. Three of her underwhelming singles from Based on a True Story were given the dance remix treatment and hit number one on the U.S. Dance Chart. Seems like moving to Randy’s dance music label is undoubtedly a smart move right? Nope. Wrong. They released one single, Strobelight, which flopped big time.
Apparently Randy was done with her after that or she wasn’t feeling what he had to offer, because shortly after she announced the launch of her new entertainment company, I AM Entertainment. Her company released a new four-track EP, Four for the Floor, (*rolls eyes) that includes her new single “Finally Free.”
“Finally Free,” along with all the other songs included on the EP, is a pure club song. Kimberley seems to be making a real attempt at launching this type of career in dance music. I’m not sure if I’m feelin’ it Kim. Sorry to burst your bubble here, but I think the song sounds a bit dated and don’t see any success resulting from it. While Kimberley’s voice does soar throughout the chorus when she belts out the title lyrics, “finally free,” it is just so… I don’t know… desperate sounding maybe? I don’t think my analysis has anything to do with not particularly enjoying the genre of club music either. As previously mentioned in the column, I’m in love with what Blake Lewis has done in the genre.
To display even more evidence that this new image Kimberley is going for isn’t working, I have included a video of her live debut of the single at a nightclub in Houston, TX. It is truly cringe worthy. Don’t you guys think so?! Kimberley, you need to switch back to your old days of pumping out AC friendly singles.
Hopefully I’m not in too much hot water with her fans on this one, as they were the ones who selected the new single via a Facebook voting campaign. Oh well, I can’t help it if they made the wrong choice! Right? I guess I should go easy on them though. Head on over to iTunes and preview the other three songs on the EP and you’ll see they weren’t given anything much better to choose from.