18 Songs, 1 Hour 11 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Those who associate Kelis only with bitch-is-back singles such as “Milkshake” and “Caught Out There” have slept on a handful of the best R&B full-lengths of the past decade. Her fourth, Kelis Was Here, again integrates enticing takes on ’70s soul with popping neo-electro cuts – the latter recalling mentors the Neptunes in their absence, a first for a Kelis album. Her boss-lady persona is accounted for on, well, “Bossy,” while she flips it in a variety of moods, from the submissive yet wriggly “Blindfold Me” to the vows of devotion in “Till the Wheels Fall Off” and “Living Proof.” Guest Will.i.am produces two songs, including “What’s That Right There,” which matches his obsession with female bodies (his own Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps”) with Kelis’ sly sass. (She’s credited with co-writing a dozen tracks here.) Her command of voice, moods and irresistible melody brings Kelis Was Here an appeal that doesn’t stop over its hour-plus length.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Those who associate Kelis only with bitch-is-back singles such as “Milkshake” and “Caught Out There” have slept on a handful of the best R&B full-lengths of the past decade. Her fourth, Kelis Was Here, again integrates enticing takes on ’70s soul with popping neo-electro cuts – the latter recalling mentors the Neptunes in their absence, a first for a Kelis album. Her boss-lady persona is accounted for on, well, “Bossy,” while she flips it in a variety of moods, from the submissive yet wriggly “Blindfold Me” to the vows of devotion in “Till the Wheels Fall Off” and “Living Proof.” Guest Will.i.am produces two songs, including “What’s That Right There,” which matches his obsession with female bodies (his own Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps”) with Kelis’ sly sass. (She’s credited with co-writing a dozen tracks here.) Her command of voice, moods and irresistible melody brings Kelis Was Here an appeal that doesn’t stop over its hour-plus length.

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