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Flesh Tone

Kelis

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Album Review

To say Kelis has been through some changes would be an understatement. Since the 2006 release Kelis Was Here, she moved from Jive to will.i.am's Interscope-affiliated vanity imprint, divorced Nas, and gave birth to a boy. Between all that, in addition to a catalog of four R&B albums that deserved greater sales, she could be forgiven for making something like a mindless dance-pop album. While Flesh Tone is a headlong dive into sleek dance-pop — one that could have been forecast years prior, given her collaborations with Moby, Timo Maas, and Richard X, and let us never forget Diddy’s “Let’s Get Ill” — it is much more personal than any of her past releases. “Acapella,” one of two tracks made with David Guetta, seems merely redemptive (“It’s just me surviving alone,” “Before you, my whole life was acapella”) until considering that it comes from a woman whose marriage fell through just prior to motherhood. The song that creates the album’s second greatest rush is also about parenthood; “Song for the Baby” similarly strikes as a boilerplate dancefloor love song on the surface, but once its subject sinks in, “I love you more than you’ll ever know” disarms quicker than any line from “Get Along with You” or “Rolling Through the Hood.” The remaining tracks are based in romantic relationships, but not all of them are about moving ahead. The churning “Intro” is bleak, just about hopeless (“Your force so dark, now my life feels uninspired”), yet it is just as powerful as anything else on the album. Nine songs with seven unique sets of production credits whip by in 38 minutes. The setup works because the songs are conjoined and dynamically ordered, like each collaborator knew what was required to complement the other tracks without sacrificing any distinct sonic character. Whether or not Flesh Tone remains a stylistic outlier, the disc will always be a bright standout in Kelis' discography.

Customer Reviews

The best dance record I've heard this year!

Who knew that this woman can conquer so many different genres of music. I also have been a passive listener of Kelis. Never purchased any of her album in whole but liked a song from here and there. After hearing Acapella I was intrigued by the new direction her music has taken. One thing that always stood out to me about Kelis over the years is that she doesn't stick to the status quo. And this record is definitely not something that will appease her Hip-Hop fans. A lot of people are not into this whole electronic movement but if you can move past the synths and dance beats and focus on the music as a whole you would discover a real gem here. The whole album plays out as a love letter to her son and a declaration of her newly found self. Not only has the sound and direction of her music made a drastic change but through the tracks on this record you can realize that Kelis has been through quite the metamorphoses herself. Gone are the profanity laden tracks and sexually charged lyrics that we have come to expect from her throughout her career. Self discovery seems to be the theme throughout the album and it's what makes this record so clever. For the past two years the radio has been flooded with dance tracks with little to no message or purpose at all. Kelis hopefully could start a trend this time around by showing that it is possible to create club songs to dance to but also have the power to make it's listener stop and pay attention to the message being conveyed under the synths and snares.

Quite possibly the dance album of the year!

I love Kelis' evolution as an artist! Her endeavor into the realm of Euro-Dance and Pop-Electroica feels utterly natural. I fully respect Kelis as an artist and a individual who is taking us on a journey to the dance floor. Together through Flesh Tone we aren't just fans, we are her friends listening to her as she let's loose. Drink in hand, laser beams illuminating the room, glitter and war paint on our sweaty faces as we dance and listen to her share her thoughts and feelings.

To sum it up, the album is bomb with the segue's! Have fun and dance, it's summer!

Perfect slice of electro-house pop!

What a delightful surprise this album is; other than knowing Kelis through her "Milkshake" and "Bossy" hits I didn't take much interest in her. I heard her single "Acapella" and I anxiously waited to own this album.
It does NOT disappoint! It's a perfect blend of electronic-dance-house-pop! On top of it all it has deep and meaningful lyrics that declare her strength and independence as a woman and most importantly the love she has for her child. Maybe her divorce from Nas was one of the best things for her.
This new musical direction is awesome and this is a definite summer album! BUY IT, you won't be disappointed!

Personal faves: 4th of July, Acapella, 22nd Century, and Brave!

Biography

Born: August 21, 1979 in Harlem, New York, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A charismatic singer and songwriter who, for several years, was closely associated with the Neptunes, Kelis arrived at the tail end of the '90s and left an immediate impression with her first solo single, "Caught Out There" — a Top Ten R&B single with a frank and screamed chorus. While her other Top Ten R&B single, 2003's "Milkshake," was also something of a novelty hit — and also produced by the Neptunes — Kelis released some of the most creative...
Full Bio

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