Monday, December 20, 2010

4th of July (Fireworks)

Best of 2010

Song: 4th of July (Fireworks)
Artist: Kelis
Album: Flesh Tone

I've always liked Kelis' brand of R&B and hip hop, a bit more daring than the cookie-cutter stuff on the radio.  But audiences are fickle, and despite having a HUGE hit with "Milkshake," album buyers skipped her messy but still very good "Kelis Was Here" from 2006.  For 2010, Kelis went in another direction, a pure dance album.

Recorded while she was without a label, "Flesh Tone" is a revelation, from the David Guetta produced "Acapella," to the thumping "Scream," and "4th of July (Fireworks)."  Some of my favorite tracks of the summer were from this album, and literally every song is good.  Not one throw-away.   

As this is Kelis, these aren't throw-away dance songs, "Flesh Tone" is an emotional song-cycle that deals with Kelis' new baby, her split with Nas, love, life, home, and being strong in the face of personal strife.  It's not just an album, it's a personal manifesto.

I've read that some critics have complained that the album sounds dated... I couldn't disagree more.  "Flesh Tone" sounds fresh, exciting, and based on the content of the songs... a pretty exhilarating listen.  This isn't a dumb dance record by any means. I feel like only "Acapella" really caught on, but other singles "Scream" and "4th of July (Fireworks)" should have been bigger.

If you past it by when it came out, you're missing out.


4th of July (Fireworks)



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