Kelis
Kelis Was Here
(Jive/Sony)
There must have been a line around the corner to produce this volatile talent now that she’s split with the Neptunes. will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas), Raphael Saadiq (TonyToniToné) and Cee-lo each help make this one of the more multi-textured R&B albums in memory. Kelis is a force, with a desire to leave her mark as voice and writer. After a bit of playing doctor (“What’s That Right There?”) and posturing (“Bossy”), Kelis settles into a maturity that may come as a surprise. Backings run the gamut from a Funkadelic sample to chunky synths, glitter rock guitar and an oddly compelling operatic scale on “Like You.” Her audience will be challenged, and perhaps changed.
—Doug Taylor

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