Le me start with the statement. I do love Kelis.
I have known her music for a decade, probably as all of you, but I discovered the full discography only at the beginning of this year. Well, never too late, as they say!
In fact, I have dedicated year 2014 musically to all the artists I’ve known and admired but never got deeper into their work. Instead of googling new names I travel back in time. I’m sure you’ll find out their names very soon on here, they’re worth a post!
Ok, Kelis is not that vintage! She’s still doing pretty well and I’m sure will do much more. But, let’s face it, ‘Milkshake’ and ‘Trick Me’ are over 10 years now. And her debut album, ‘Kaleidescope’, was released in 1999. Are you feeling old now?
I admire versatile artists and Kelis is one of best examples. She experimented on every album and it feels like you get introduced to new Kelis each time. It’s always a nice encounter. I don’t like labelling music, what I probably mentioned before, and I’m not even good with naming genres. Soul, rap, rock, pop, country, who cares?
Apart from her versatility, I love Kelis for the fact of disproving stereotypes. She doesn’t even fight with them, she just does whatever she wants and it works for her. It was easy to classify a pretty black girl with her debut album out in the late 90s as solely RnB. She could sing ‘Milkshake’ her whole life and follow that pathway. Instead, she’s chosen to surprise us effectively. Her album ‘Flesh Tone’ from 2010 shocked quite a few people out there, almost resisting from Kelis’ attempt to make them dance. But she did it! At least two major hits from that album. From completely different musical world. Ticked!
She also plays with her sexuality really well, if not sex generally. She may even sing about doing it in public or being blindfolded and keep the vulgarity aside. Always very sensual and tasteful (unless you’re a nun) and majorly supported by her deep voice. It’s something we miss nowadays, right Miley?
So, what’s going on now?
Well, if we google her name we may get a bit confused. But that’s right… Kelis is not only a singer and entertainer but also a qualified saucier! How cool is that?! She disappeared shortly after ‘Flesh Tone’ album to bring a child to the world and get a new useful profession. Thanks to that we had a chance to watch her hosting ‘Saucy and Sweet’ show on Cooking Channel and follow yummy pictures on Instagram. I truly believe it’s one of the best random achievements by celebrities. I can imagine it reflects her personality a lot, constantly looking for new adventures and self improvement. And this is exactly what her career is about.
Her latest album, called simply and not much surprisingly’Food’, has been playing in my earphones for quite a while now. It’s different. Again. It has introduced new vocal skills of Kelis and is definitely more instrumental than her albums before. I don’t really care if the album is commercially successful. In fact, I very rarely check the billboard charts. I’m also far from being a music critic and I know about it as much so you do. But I definitely know what works for me, what plays on my moods and what rules my iPad. ‘Food’ was not overly promoted and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you might have not heard of it, as yet. If I am right, please do. I bet you’d find at least one song interesting. A song to love.
To lure you in, I’d say that Kelis surprises vocally in one of the songs, becoming a whistling Mariah for a few seconds. Yes, you’ve heard me well!
I had a big, big pleasure of seeing Kelis concert this year. It took place in Somerset House, London. Beautiful venue, warm summery evening (yes, we’re still in London…) and very enthusiastic audience. I don’t know how I managed that but I was standing in almost first row (‘almost’ sounds better than second). Kelis combined all her hits with the new stuff and I bet that made everyone happy. Me doubled.
The old hits were rearranged to give them a new, more swingy sound. Even though it is hard to imagine ‘Milkshake’ or ‘Acapella’ that way, everything worked quite well. To be honest, I had never been convinced to Kelis as a live artist before. And I still think she’s not best performer, however everything looked and sounded much better than on TV, especially the Glastonbury set. Kelis’ task to entertain people is much easier with all those hits on her setlist. She could be standing on stage and not move and the audiences would still go mental. Ok, she’s much more than that; however I felt like the interaction with the crowd might have been slightly better. Kelis seemed to be very nervous and shy in front of the audience which was quite adorable as for someone with such a big experience. And to be honest, I prefer her that way than fakely becoming a stage animal and forgetting what music is about. Let’s stick to that. Oh, and I loved the fact that Kelis at some point sang a song from a book she brought on stage with her. Simply because she didn’t remember the lyrics that well.
How not to love her?