It’s been almost four years since KELIS‘ 2010 electronic Flash Tune, but the R’n’B diva is back in the game and she’s inviding us for dinner. With her newest release the american singer/songwriter hits back to her roots and further: Food delivers delicious tunes, positive vibes and constant catchiness!
Starting out with Jerk Ribs, our girl invites us into her world, which sounds a little bit of 80’s and early MADONNA (anyone else who recognizes the pop star’s Justify My Love in the beginning?). This track seems to be surrounded by pure energy coming directly from the streets of KELIS‘ hometown. It is more real, exotic and different from her previous work.
In Breakfast the singer talks about ‘the real thing’ and asks if we will make it until next day (I am sure we all will!). Fans of INDIA ARIE should feel very comfortable with it, although the baby’s voice asking for some… yeah, of course, food, might be a little bit confusing for some listeners. Forever Be continues with a positive and enthusiastic sound, while numbers like Floyd or Runner come along with a rather slower and dreamy beat. The album’s most romantic moment is probably represented by Bless The Telephone, a short and chilling ballad about the power of communication, only accompanied by a guitar and a male background vocalist.
Like many great artists, the singer also shows her inconstancy: Fish Fry, another food-related title, consists of several Rock & Roll and Western elements, Change moves into the Middle East with a more oriental sound. The longplayer’s ending track Dreamer speaks for itself, taking us far away with its utopian tone.
Besides the changeful elements in most of the tracks, Food stays constantly in a very jazzy niche. Instead of electronic beats there are lots of trumpets, piano, guitar and choir parts. The whole project sounds orchestral, light and somehow native. It is cool, contains many instrumental details and comes from heart.
But it is still all about KELIS‘ vocal ability: Her voice stays permanent soulish, honest and scratchy. Just the KELIS we all adore. At some points her singing is also lascivious and a bit erotic. Even typical pop-lyrical questions like ‘How can I forget you? How can I reject you?’ sound seductive and catch you immediately. Yes, it is definitely her unique voice which makes her one of the most interesting R’n’B artists of the moment.
So how does KELIS‘ Food taste at all? It is not that hard to admit: Delicous, yummy! Her sixth studio album is the perfect sondtrack for a chilling day at home or a busy one in the city.
What a comeback. KELIS‘ ‘Food’ will make you all full. In any situation.
NBHAP Rating: 4/5