Prior to the release of I Owe You, the debut by urban gospel starlet Kierra "KiKi" Sheard, EMI Gospel went all-out to make sure the album fulfilled expectations. After all, the label had just won a bidding war to sign the teenaged songstress -- daughter of the Clark Sisters' Karen Clark-Sheard, granddaughter of church music matriarch Mattie Moss Clark. That's a lot of pedigree to live up to, so she was introduced with a bang: "You Don't Know," the stomping, Rodney Jerkins-produced first single, became a smash at gospel radio, spending several weeks at the top of the charts. The song turned out to be an interesting thesis statement for the whole of I Owe You, as it rolled into one its mishmash of styles and sensibilities -- particularly top-shelf urban pop and churchified contemporary gospel, plus a fair share of vocal acrobatics and dazzling, Clark-like harmonies. Outside of that song, I Owe You is much more conformist, breaking up into a number of parts but never quite reaching the neo-gospel, cross-generational ingenuity of its inaugural song. On the one hand, there's Sheard the urban gospel sister, a fiery, commanding vocalist who isn't afraid to get down like colleagues Mary Mary and Trin-I-Tee 5:7 in songs like "Closer" and "Let Go." On the other, there's Sheard the budding R&B diva, a delicate, smooth songbird with enough soul to sound every bit as Janet or Aaliyah. Lastly, there's Sheard the Clark, a potent, shrieking church soloist with a squall that can blow the roof off "Praise Offering" and "Done Did It." That I Owe You can be so easily compartmentalized is not necessarily a sign of versatility, but an indicator that KiKi is merely following the lead of others. This is not a big deal in the case of debut albums, but the see-if-it-sticks mentality is ultimately too jarring to take in all at once. It's nice of Sheard to let herself be all things to all people, but here's hoping the follow-up to I Owe You is truly more her, not who her handlers want her to be.
Performance CreditsKierra "KiKi" Sheard Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
J Moss Vocals
Paul "PDA" Allen Vocals
J. Drew Sheard Rap
Technical CreditsJames Moss Composer
Rodney Jerkins Composer,Producer
Donald Lawrence Author
Jay Brown Author
LaShawn Daniels Composer
Kierra "KiKi" Sheard Arranger,Composer,Producer
Warryn Campbell Producer
Fred "Uncle Freddie" Jerkins Composer
J Moss Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Carla Williams Artist Development
Todd Kozey Engineer
Melvin Jackson Engineer
Paul "PDA" Allen Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Jazz Nixon Producer
Brandon Holland Composer
Byron Stanfield Composer
Delisha Thomas Composer
Tina Campbell Author
J. Drew Sheard Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I Owe You based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I never new Ki Ki had a cd out. The first time I heard the song "You Don't Know" it was the bomb. It keeps you moving. I think that it would attract young people. But they would also need to hear the words and not so interested in the music. The words are very powerful. It's her personal testimony. I don't know how old she is but she inspires me very much.
It took a minute for the CD to grow on me but if you play it enough you will fall for it. "You Don't Know" and "War" are off the chain. I am absolutely intrigued at how anointed this young lady is. It's amazing.