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The midtempo "Intro", despite its name, is a proper song with swirling synths with Kelis singing in that straining-to-reach-the-notes voice she does with such ease. This segues into the propulsive "22nd century" with surging synths, electronic swishes and flourishes, gently stomping beats that come in fully after the first chorus and her vocals mechanically tweaked to lend it a futuristic bent. It ends in a piano coda that segues into "4th July (Fireworks)" which has a jittery Techno feel.
"We are all running in a race, to find everything that you're searching for is right there" she tells us in the Trancey "Home" that does itself feel like a race. Lead-off single, a UK #5 hit is the semi-skeletal Guetta-produced "Acapella" with staccato beats and lovely harmonies, segueing into the piano-sprinkled Guetta-produced "Scream" with spoken/chanted verses.
"Emancipate" is one of the grooviest songs and should appeal to fans of her prior R&B sound, as should the beautiful celebratory horn-peppered "Song for the baby" sounding like eighties Soul set to a Disco beat, an ode to her son Knight. "Brave" features buzzing synths and light vocoder effects, a stomping Club anthem with biographical lyrics.
A brave change in direction for Kelis which should be a big hit in Europe. Kelis said she wants this album to make the listener sweat, and with music this hot, you will.
In the case of Kelis with "Flesh Tone", I think it's a little of both. Kelis was pregnant and going through a nasty and public divorce while recording the album, which could explain the album's themes of liberation, birth, and rebirth. At the same time, the album's club/dance/electronica vibe could also have to do with the recent success of dance acts like the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga.
In the end, I think it comes down to whether it works or not. "Flesh Tone" works. On her last two albums, Kelis had been playing the role of tough/sexy R&B diva, downplaying the spaciness of her earlier work. But the vibe of "Flesh Tone" allows Kelis to completely blast off into space, and it suits her. And although the tracks are full of throbbing beats and electronic sound affects, Kelis' raspy, soulful voice keeps the tracks from ever sounding too mechanical, and her lyrics, probably her most vulnerable and heartfelt ever, add an emotional core that was lacking in some of her R&B hits like "Milkshake" or "Bossy".
Ironically, by making a switch to dance music, Kelis has come up with the most soulful album of her career.
This album is like the ultimate lullaby to her son and a kind of declaration of her independence and strength as a woman. Her divorce from Nas did not turn her into a crying woman that cowers back and loses it all. With this album she picks herself up, pieces everything together and rises from the problems with strength!
The music is amazing. If this is her new musical direction, then more power to her! There are so many club stomping hits on this album, it is incredible. My personal favorites are "22nd Century", "Acapella", "4th of July", and "Song for the Baby". I just cannot get over the fact that this is a dance album with beautiful lyrics and for such a cheap price ($7.99) it is a STEAL! It is has gotten praise from critics and bloggers alike, and all I can say is that they hit the nail on the head. This album is HOT!
Finally, this is the PERFECT SUMMER ALBUM! Buy it NOW!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This album is crazy good! If you ready to vogue and need music to keep your guest up during a party this is it.Published 21 months ago by Bimz
Excellent sequenced dance music w/ emotional lyrics than the normal 'grab boy, grab girl, get on floor raise hands and fell the beat' but on the songs she has a life child divorce... Read morePublished on July 12, 2014 by TROYWD22
yes, i was a fan from the beginning. i like her eclectic sound and the fact that she does not follow trends. her remixes are usually hot tooPublished on June 27, 2014 by i_tell_it_like_it_is
This album for ME was a moment I needed to feel and hear someone that could meet me where I needed to be met. Kelis ALWAYS gives a variety. This moment and piece? Read morePublished on August 16, 2013 by Jerryn C
This is a pretty good release from Kelis. I've heard all of her work, and this would have to be my favorite album of hers as a whole. Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by ULTRA