Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kelis - Flesh Tone

You gotta respect Kelis as a true definition of what being a survivor means. Pointed as next big thing in many different moments from the last decade, her career hasn't quite been what expected, at least sales-wise, with some highs but also quite a few lows. And even with omnipresent pop classics such as Milkshake, Caught Out There, Trick Me or Bossy on her belt, there's still a perception that the average music listener doesn't quite know what to make of her idiosyncrasies and uniqueness. Something that in a way actually reminds me of Grace Jones.
All of this takes us to her 5th album and another career switch to confuse everyone a bit more. Flesh Tone re-imagines Kelis as a futuristic club-diva, an unreachable and cold persona with a robotic voice, over ecstactic beats delivered by the hands of super - but not so hip - producers like David Guetta or Benny Benassi. Questionable choice? One minute into second track 22nd Century and all those doubts are already behind, such is the state of euphoria induced by the blasting beats that come in.
With digital sounds that vary from electro pop to synthpop, house or dancehall, there's still no question that the true element taking everything into a whole new level is Kelis herself, such is the magnitude of her presence. Her ice-cool attitude and unmistakable hoarse voice completely suit this new direction, with 9 tracks that scream to be heard out loud and with no superfluous strings attached. Preferably hands-in-the-air while dancing in a loaded sweaty club like there's no tomorrow.
And by the end of Flesh Tone, you'll feel compelled to hear it all over again. And again. And again. Just to extend that state of euphoria a bit more. (8/10)

Kelis - 4th of July (Fireworks) (video)

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