CD: Kelis, Tasty


Kelis is a parallel universe Beyoncé. She first made her mark with afronaut chic and mind-boggling sci-fi soul (courtesy of the then-unknown Neptunes). Since then the Harlem singer has preferred off-the-wall collaborations with OutKast, Richard X and Timo Maas to the R&B mainstream. However, her especially outre second album, Wanderland, sold so badly that it has been eerily airbrushed from her official biography. Tasty is more immediate in every respect.

Perhaps inspired by her engagement to rapper Nas (the arch-rival, interestingly, of Beyoncé's squeeze Jay-Z), Kelis exploits her husky croon like never before, pouring it over lascivious double entendre ("My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard") and, well, lascivious single entrendre (In Public is an eyebrow-raisingly explicit duet with Nas). The likes of the Neptunes, Dallas Austin and OutKast's Andre 3000 weigh in with assorted flavours of pre- and post-coital soul, sighing to a close with Raphael Saadiq's Massive Attack-echoing Marathon. She may not be R&B's biggest star, but Kelis remains its most compelling character.


Dorian Lynskey

The GuardianTramp

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