US - New York - Full Moon 123 - 10/07/06
Kelis Was Here
Not that I'm a notoriously big Kelis fan. But I like some of her music. It's fresh and bouncy and not so slick as many of the other r'n'b/hip-hop stars. 27 years old Kelis Rogers hails from Harlem, NYC. At 20 she made her debut with the colourful and quite impressing Kaleidoscope (1999), holding the massive hit "Caught Out There". Of course she was heavily backed, by the men from N.E.R.D. Pharrel Williams and Chad Hugo, a.k.a. The Neptunes, wrote, performed and produced almost everything. But Kelis has got the voice.
Now, four years on, and album number 4 is out. And, so what, end of story, or still more fun from the girl? Yes, there are still some good entertainment. Problem is, as usual these days, the album's too long. 74 minutes. It seems all CDs have to be somewhere over 70 minutes. CD ruined the album concept totally. Just that there's 74 minutes available, doesn't mean you've got to fill it. Not everybody writes a Beethoven's 9th, or what? Anyway, Kelis is a cocky girl, and her success brings her further, and higher. She's been working with quite a number of celebrities: OutKast, P. Diddy, Neptunes, Moby, Björk, Gravediggaz, Busta Rhymes, Foxy Brown, Lil' Kim, Richard X, Timo Maas, etc. The list is long.
Kelis co-writes almost al her songs, and that's a credible thing to do. But then there's the phrase "kill your darlings", which surely could've resulted in a better album. Guest rappers appear on some of the better tracks, such as (her husband) Nas on "Blindfold Me", Smoke "Aww Shit!", Cee-Lo on "Little Star", and Spragga on "Fire". Other bubbly songs are "I Don't Think So", "Handful", and "Till The Wheels Fall Off", and "Have A Nice Day" is a nice closer. But, hey, there comes a secret closer, an indeed funky track called "Fuck Them Bitches"!
Maybe Kaleidoscope wasn't that much better after all...
Copyright © 2006 Håvard Oppøyen