by KelisKelis

CD(Digi-Pak / Bonus CD)

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Flesh Tone, Kelis' lone release through Interscope, brought about a pair of Top Five club hits. The creatively restless singer and songwriter nonetheless quickly moved on to working on her sixth album with a handful of U.K. garage and dubstep producers, including Skream, whose 2013 "Copy Cat" featured one of her most clever (and slightly creepy) turns. She changed course again and teamed up with TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, whose Los Angeles house hosted loose recording sessions with an atmosphere that, according to Kelis, was "like a freakin' commune." Released on U.K. label Ninja Tune, Food sports a cover that doesn't seem nearly bright or colorful enough to reflect its sound -- an eclectic and modern-sounding synthesis of classic pop and rhythm & blues with a lot of friskiness, some funk, and even a little twang. Strings, horns, and brass arranged by Todd Simon are a major part of the album and match up well with the slightly scratchy and simultaneously sportive and sincere qualities of Kelis' voice. The certified chef's references to food are abundant, but they're all used as a way to help illustrate a set that is principally about a blossoming relationship and positive reflection. The first line of the opening "Breakfast" -- "I wanna say thank you, you've been more than just a man" -- is more an indication of the album's theme than its song titles. Likewise, the shuffling and soaring "Jerk Ribs" contains no actual culinary content, rooted instead in a brilliantly drawn memory about her father, where "He said to look for melody in everything" is followed by instantly memorable horn riffs. On the rollicking Afro-beat-touched "Cobbler," Kelis coos, "You make me hit notes that I never sing," and it somehow seems totally justifiable to have a background singer trail the line with "She never sings these notes" and a Deniece Williams-like flourish. During the album's second half, the celebratory spirit is temporarily interrupted by a surprising acoustic diversion -- a straightforward cover of folk love song "Bless the Telephone" (1971), originally written and recorded by another classification-defying artist, Labi Siffre. While it remains almost impossible to dissociate Kelis and early collaborators the Neptunes, it's more difficult imagining a better creative alliance -- at this point in her career, at least -- than the one that shines here.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/22/2014
Label: Ninja Tune
UPC: 5021392891125
catalogNumber: 205
Rank: 174047

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kelis   Primary Artist
Tracy Wannomae   Flute,Bass Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone,Background Vocals
Isaiah Owens   Organ,Keyboards
Todd M. Simon   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Background Vocals
Patrick Bailey   Guitar,Background Vocals
David Andrew Sitek   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Celeste,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer,Synthesizer Strings
CSS   Vocals
Priscilla Ahn   Background Vocals
Jake Najor   Drums,Background Vocals
Rob Ackroyd   Guitar
Itai Shapira   Bass,Background Vocals
Nate Morton   Drums
Thomas Lea   Violin,Viola
Alfredo Ortiz   Percussion,Drums
Sam Robles   Baritone Saxophone,Background Vocals
Geoff Gallegos   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Melvin Honore   Bass,Background Vocals
Aaron Johnson   Trombone
Dave Cousin   Background Vocals
Arama Mara   Background Vocals
Alekasem "Sal Masakela"   Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Labi Siffre   Composer
Todd M. Simon   Composer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Matty Green   Engineer
Stereotypes   Vocal Producer
David Andrew Sitek   Composer,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Zeph Sowers   Engineer
Jeremy Reeves   Composer
Ray Romulus   Composer
Jonathan Yip   Composer
Todd Simon   Composer
Leif Podhajsky   Artwork
Kelis Rogers   Composer
Ray Charles McCullough   Composer
Kate Moross   Creative Consultant
Mark Bengtson   Pro-Tools
Stephen Satterthwaite   Management

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