Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kelis Finds New Sound On New Album

Kelis has always been experimental. From the Neptunes produced rock/R&B/dance/hip hop hybrid of her first three albums to the hip hop inspired fourth record, Kelis Was Here,  Kelis always was outside the box. Then in 2010 Kelis released Flesh Tone which was a dance album that while it was good, was a step back for the singer.
On her sixth album Food, out last month, Kelis has a more throwback soul sound that mixes in rock and electronic elements. Gone is the aggression of her debut single and first hit "Caught Out There." Gone is the sexuality of her biggest hit "Milkshake" and the attitude of "Bossy."
The album starts with three of the album's best songs. "Breakfast" is a joyous love song that starts the album off right.
"So much of who we are/ Is who first taught us how to love," Kelis sings.
First single "Jerk Ribs" is a great track that is soulful with great percussion and a killer saxophone melody. Next is the album's best track "Forever Be." The song is also the poppiest on the record. It's catchy and Kelis' label would be foolish if this wasn't the next single off of her album.
The next song is a boring ballad "Floyd." This song has good vocals from Kelis and a good chorus but the song isn't as great as the previous three tracks. Kelis keeps things midtempo on "Runnin.'" The song is better and has very honest.
"How can I forget you/ You're never late/ You're always right there to my rescue," Kelis sings.
"Hooch" picks things up with a faster tempo and more danceable melody. This song is a highlight of the album. "Cobbler" is very similar keeping the up-tempo part going.
Next is another highlight. "Bless the Telephone" is an acoustic cover of a song by Labi Siffre. It's a duet with Sal Masekela who is the album's only featured artist. The song is soft and vulnerable, something Kelis rarely is.
"Friday Fish Fry" is up next. This up-tempo track has Kelis' most soulful vocals on the album. The song has a Western vibe to the instrumentation. "Change" is another low point of the album. The song is decent but doesn't stick out compared to the other songs.
Second single "Rumble" is another highlight. The song discusses her divorce from rapper Nas. The album hits another snag with "Biscuits n' Gravy." This song is a piano based ballad that is boring and starts out too slow and never really picks up. The album closes on a high point with "Dreamer." This song is a very graceful ballad. It's one of the best songs on the record and it is a great idea to close the album with this.
Kelis keeps changing her sound up and Food is no exception. Hopefully on her next album she keeps up the experimentation.

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