Soulfully extraordinary the sixth studio album from R&B artist Kelis, Food, is some of the best, if not the best work she has brought us. The album is produced by Dave Sitek, who you may know from TV on the Radio or from work with the likes of Foals and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. You can feel that this album is a meeting of taste and passion, a beautiful and professional compilation. Taking its name from Kelis’ other passion cooking, Food embodies the jazz-soul movement in 2014. It is the tantalising brass that dominates this record and Kelis herself that gives it a certain lustrous appeal.
The opener is aptly titled Breakfast and includes a spoken introduction from Kelis’ daughter Destiny and jungle like syllables; the first on the album, this track sets the tonal direction for Food. With tracks like Jerk Ribs not only deliciously titled but serenading your ears with a catchy drum-kick and epic trumpet licking, Kelis serves up the mantra for this album – “if feels just like it should”. A full offering, tracks like Forever Be have given it all, passionate lyrics, keyboard, trumpet and drum-machine. There is an innocent swagger about the sound, shoulder-shaking goodness minus the bravado.
The biggest standout is not the brass consistency present on the majority of tracks from one to 13 but the gorgeous vocal offering of Kelis. Never have you heard such a dreamy, moving chorus like that of Floyd. Imagine a solitude light flooding Kelis as she sweetly works the mic with the glistening of brass behind. Blown away, you cannot begin to imagine the impact this type of album will have in a live setting.
Bless the telephone is the acoustic anomaly, a cover of a Labi Siffre original from 1971 and preformed as a duet. A beautiful love song perfectly portrayed, even better so, by the enchanting vocals of Kelis. This type of track lives on a record with the contrasting afro-funkesque sound of Cobbler or Hooch and it all feels so natural. That is just it, one of the great aspects of this record is how malleable it is to your mood, whether you’ve a glass of wine or book in hand, on your feet or lying down, you’ll yield pleasure and enjoyment from the sound. Such a great listen, a modern but soulful record from Kelis, Food is a refreshing gift from this singer-song writer. Enjoy!