Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
I love this so much right now
on 17 May 2010
One look at the sleeve design makes it clear that Kelis is not about to be turned into some kind of bland, generic dance artist. She risks a back cover shot which peels away her skin to reveal every sinew beneath and a centrefold in which she is presented Sphinx-like as half woman and half animal.
It's this sense of being slightly off-kilter that has always informed Kelis' work. 'Flesh Tone' sees her move firmly into an electro/house sound and yet she remains distinct - this feels genuinely inventive and fresh.
Lead single 'Acapella' still sounds stunning - the Donna Summer vibes competing with an almost atonal, throbbing backing that at first threatens to overwhelm it but eventually enables the track to take flight. Hugely uplifting and anthemic.
It must be said that the songwriting is at times a bit disappointing. The chorus of 'Emancipate', for example, features the phrase 'Emancipate Yourself' repeated sixteen times. There is also a lack of melody in some places, with the (albeit catchy) hooks covering up some occasionally dull tunes.
Yet the sheer joy of the surging basslines on tracks like 'Home', 'Brave' and '22nd Century' is undeniable. There is also some variety - first track 'Intro' is a lovely minor-chord piece of Euro synth pop. Final track 'Song For The Baby' is the most instantly appealing song on the album - lyrically similar to 'Acapella' (celebrating the love she has for her new baby) it also has a sweeter, Salsoul-era disco feel.
At only nine tracks long, this is an album that should be heard in full. With tracks segued into one another (not mixed, but musically linked together) it's a collection that takes Kelis into new, exciting musical territory.