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Record Rating: ***

Kelis - Tasty Kelis released her debut album Kaleidoscope as early as 1999 - and while the album didn't generate much attention as a whole, the lead single Caught Out There sure managed to do exactly that. For the song was soon labelled as an anthem for the wronged females and became a runaway hit on the US R&B charts. Still despite various attempts to release other tuneful and solid single releases – it looks like the success of Caught Out There couldn't be topped. Her 2001's Wanderland album didn't do much for the R&B singer in terms of popularity – probably mainly due to its lack of release in the US.

But that’s all changed with her latest release. Titled Tasty - the album’s first single Milkshake became a big hit peaking at #3 in Billboard's Hot 100 and landed Kelis a No#2 spot on the UK charts. Don't be put off by that single, for I absolutely hated it - but once I got past that, the album became more approachable for the average listener.

Hip-hop’s number one producers the Neptunes (Noreaga, Ol' Dirty Bastard) turn up to help Kelis out here – still their tracks Protect My Heart, Sugar Honey Iced Tea and Rolling Throughout The Hood, are actually among the weakest offerings on the record. While their contribution to her debut Kaleidoscope was filled with great songs, several of the songs on their latest effort lack melodies and great hooks. And Kelis also seems to be unsure of how she really wants to sing. She transforms into a copy of the Mariah Carey we used to love on the pop ballad duet Wouldn't You Agree – and in the next moment seems to become Jennifer Lopez on the track In Public. (A stinker about the joys of sex in crowded places) Even when she takes tries to take a chance to be different with tracks like the doomed Mars or danceable Roller Rink - her insistence not to conform to the world of R&B's and Hip-hop’s Beyoncé and 50 Cent fails miserably.

For this comes across as just another plain album, that as usual has more hype than substance. If you’re really looking for some good R&B/Hip Hop music - Beyonce’s last release is ten times better than this one. That one comes highly recommended.

Read our other reviews:

Room 5 - Music and You       Gareth Gates - Go Your Own Way       Kelis - Tasty       Busted - A Present For Everyone

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