“We control the dance floor,” Kelis says on the first track of her latest album, Flesh Tone. Known best for her R&B hit “Milkshake,” Kelis seems to have become more ambitious with her latest venture, which makes the transition to a dance-pop, mania sound.
On Flesh Tone, Kelis worked with some of the biggest names in dance music, including Benny Benassi, Jean Baptiste, Boys Noize and will.i.am. The ingenuity created with working with such producers is shown boldly on various tracks throughout the album, including “22nd Century,” “Home” and “4th of July (Fireworks).” Each track molds into the next, creating a continuous dance-party mix.
On the opening track of the album, “Intro,” Kelis lets her listeners know immediately that this isn’t going to be an instant replay of her previous release, Kelis Was Here, which had a more urban-rap feel to it. Instead, she creates club tracks that are sure to entice people to hit the dance floor. “It’s you, I can’t run. I can’t run to you. It’s true, I give up. I give up on you,” she sings in a voice that sounds as if it is straining to get through to the listener, yet it is perfectly fitted to the disco-style background beat and synths.
What is also refreshing about an artist who started their career in the late ’90s is that with certain sounds and rhythms, they are able to take listeners back to that place. This is seen on the track “Emancipate,” which is definitely reminiscent of the dance-club music which became prominent in that decade. The shouting chorus, yelling “Emancipate yourself!” will definitely have listeners dancing for their freedom.
However, on of the main problems with this album is that the tracks tend to stay on one particular wavelength. Maybe this is not what Kelis was going for, but a little variety wouldn’t have hurt. Though it has its flaws, if you feel like dancing, this is a good album.