x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Kelis: Flesh Tone

In Flesh Tone, Kelis offers music that makes you want to pump your fist in the air and wave around a glowstick.

AD201010705189978AR
AD201010705189978AR

What's that? Can you hear it? That's the faint trace of Kelis throbbing from Ibiza, skipping her way lightly over sea and shore to the UAE straight from the dance floor of Pacha. Flesh Tone, her fifth studio album, is nothing if not ripe for the heaving, sun-kissed masses writhing about on the Mediterranean isle this summer. The switch in focus from R&B to an electro, synth-heavy style of dance music is a recent one for the Harlem-raised musician. That it's a conscious departure is underlined by the fact that the dance master David Guetta served as producer for much on this record. And it's Kelis's first release under the will.i.am music group. (That's the label set up by Will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas fame, lest he be confused with someone else whose name is blighted by random punctuation.) The album is neatly divided into nine tracks, the majority of which are followed by brief, instrumental segues that offer a whiff of Daft Punk. It's music that, mostly, makes you want to pump your fist in the air and perhaps wave aloft a glow stick. There is plenty of psychedelic keyboard bashing throughout, and the Guetta touch has induced a Madonna-like pace and breathiness on certain tracks, notably 22nd Century, which has shades of Beautiful Stranger. The first single release from the album, Acapella, has already been let loose with success in America and the UK. It's an upbeat track supposedly penned about Kelis's young son, Knight. "Before you, my whole life was a cappella. Now a symphony's the only song to sing," she says. And sing those Ibizan hoards most certainly will.