Kelis – “22nd Century” / “4th of July” [NEW Tracks] by Windowpane
Sunday, April 18, 2010, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Music, Music New, Must Read

I’ve been very vocal about my disappointment of Kelis’ new music. I find it puzzling why so many people are jumping on “Acapella” when the track sucks…Hard. BUT I like to stay opened minded and always give an album a chance, so upon finding these two new tracks in my inbox, decided to give them a listen…

Download: Kelis – “22nd Century”“4th of July”

…I tried. I really did. But I’m sorry, as much as I am all for artist progression and growth, this is a million steps back from what Kelis does best. In no way am I saying these are two of the worse songs I’ve ever heard, but I do believe Kelis is way, way, way better than this. Her last album wasn’t great (except for “Bossy”, that was massive), and it looks like this album is set to share the same fate.

This euro-pop-dance mess is beyond over – I thought it died in the 90’s? – I’m just completely baffled as to why she has chosen this direction? Sometimes doing something just to be different is not the way forward. I understand since she’s been away a new wave of artists have come along who have clearly ‘borrowed’ from the likes of Kelis, but jumping on this type of music is not the right move. Sorry.

…And before you stans go mental, I’m not saying this won’t be successful, the chances are – it will be. But that’s what makes me wonder – for years Kelis has been producing forward thinking music, for a generation of open minded music nerds and has, I guess, struggled to be ‘mainstream’ – especially after her debut. So, is this an attempt to stay ‘relevant’ or to have a little of what the GaGa’s & Rihanna’s have? I don’t know and can’t say for certain – maybe this is just simply a change in artistic direction – but to me at least, it seems a little too…Suspect. Just my opinion!

Not going to be posting anything else on Kelis and this album (well, unless something really interesting happens). I will listen to the LP, give it a chance, but I don’t think it’s the type of thing that I’d be into. I don’t like posting stuff I don’t like, I don’t like being negative about music either, so yea – if you need your Kelis fix, I’m sure someone on the ol’ Blogroll will be able to help you out.

Peace, Love & Kelis


Sidenote: Just pressed play on Wanderland, album still sounds fresh as hell.

13 Comments so far
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Hmmmm. Re: Acapella, dude, it’s the BEAT. It’s on some next level tribal BRILLIANCE – pump that at 1am and you’re GONE. Trust me. Do it tonight! No pills needed 🙂

Saying that, 22nd Century is poor. 4th of July is meh, but if we really dig deep within ourselves, Kelis was never too far off from electro. Everything she did was a touch slower and more melodic, but it was all artificial-sounding beatage. And always felt Kelis never had the chops to truly pass as R&B, hence, here we are. 21st century Electro. Hmmmm. I hope it works out.

Comment by Matilda Egere-Cooper

Naaaah, there is NOTHING ‘brilliant’ about the beat on Acapella. Nothing. Just any next dance/electro club beat. Sorry.

Re: her past material – Kelis was never about ‘the voice’, Kelis was always, always about that futuristic, alien, intergalactic Hip Hop beat. It was always about forward thinking, she made music that ‘heads’ understood, while others looked on in complete confusion. The chemistry she had with the Neptunes on Kaleidoscope, Wonderland & Tasty was something to behold – their magic is actually, pretty unparalleledc (comparable to maybe Missy & Timbo back in the day). I think some of the best beats the Neptunes ever produced are tracks on those aforementioned albums.

This new shit is just that…shit.

I’m actually pretty gutted, I was really hoping Kelis would come back ‘aarrrrd. Eh, the kids will like this, maybe lol

Comment by Speeakz

LMAO! Fair point. So is the issue is that she’s not going beyond what’s becoming the norm? I’m telling ya, Acapella slapped me one morning (in a good way) and I’ve not been able to look back. The Benny Benassi remix is NUTS, but I’ve always been partial to a bit of house music.

Comment by Matilda Egere-Cooper

House music has never really worked for me. Maybe that’s the problem. There are so many issues, I don’t even know where to begin lmfao! Is this artistic progression? Or is it an attempt to stay ‘current’ (everyone knows dance/house is the way to go if you want to achieve this ask: Kelly Rowland, Akon, Chris Brown…and Cher?)? Or is this just doing something different for the sake of doing something different? I just don’t know – and I guess that’s my problem. I’m just not ‘buying’ it – at all.

Comment by Speeakz

I hope you get to interview her. I’ve been putting in my bid for MONTHS.

Comment by Matilda Egere-Cooper

Poor you with your hateful opinion.
Kelis is doing DANCE, real DANCE music.
Not that watered down, dance/pop music. Acapella is amazing and these 2 new tracks are amazing as well.

Comment by channelxonr

And another thing, who’s making this type of music right now? NO ONE! Gaga makes electropop, Rihanna is pop. Kelis is doing ELECTRONIC & dance music. Apparently you don’t know your genres of music.

Comment by channelxonr

really is JUST my opinion – glad you like it…I don’t, that’s all. Not that deep.

Comment by Speeakz

I was thinking the same at the beginning for acapella, and knowing that David Guetta was producing, it wasn’t helping, but one day listening to it I really liked it, it’s not that bad, and I’m glad she finally releases an electro album because she has always be in touch with electro music, the producers on the album like diplo, boys noize, switch,… are by far some of the best in the actual electro music so can’t wait to hear it
and I’m not sure she will have that much success, like the previous albums it’s not that mainstream, but we’ll see
‘Kelis was here’ was disapointing and I’ve been following her career since the beginning I think it was her only mistake, but there was some nice tracks on it, I don’t think Kelis would release a bad mainstream album for the kids just to have success, but I can understand that you prefer when she does things more in the R&B type
listen to ‘scream and shout’ too it’s a nice track, but I’m sure the best tracks on the album are not released yet (diplo’s, benny benassi’s, switch’s…)

Comment by DavidJ

There are a lot of people who are going to turn the other cheek on this album solely because of the style of music she chose to run with, but what we also have to understand as listeners is that Kelis just wants to feel good right now. She said so herself in an interview with VIBE that after her divorce from Nas and the birth of Knight, she felt a sort of a rejuvenation and wanted to produce music that strongly reflected that. For years, dance music has given listeners and club-goers everywhere a sense of emancipation and escape, and I say that if you’re going to make dance music, then make DANCE music; Kelis is doing just that and doing it well, I might add.

Comment by MissLong

I think the point is, she just needed to make something with a groove (keeping in mind she IS a mod-Rn’B icon to some extent now that it’s past the decade mark). The majority of Rn’B artists at present seem to all make music that has a 4 to the floor rhythm.

I think if you’re a person that understands & feels groove, then you understand Soul, and of course classic contemporary Rn’B. Something that’s unfortunately non-existent in the charts/billboards of recent years). It feels like the dumbing down of an entire culture (you’re talking about decades of groove here that recently seems muted in the mainstream and banished to the dainty recesses of e-mails and blogs). So a music that was once fathomed/felt by rhythmic, grooving basslines and expressive Soulful drum patterns (even when Timbaland/Neptunes updated it by adding electronic extra-terrestial sprinkles of melody) suddenly becomes boom-boom-boom-boom and a shitload of arpeggios. In all fairness, that’s not Rn’B no matter how they try to advertise it to you. That’s Dance/House/Electro (and I say that with respect to those genres and it’s greatest enthusiasts).

However, it’s what everyone’s doing (the UK is one of the worst culprits believe me, they couldn’t sell Grime over here until they turned it into European Electro-House, and in the States they found a formula for Rn’B artists that would guarantee them greater success in Europe, and that was, yes, shit that sounded like European Electro/House), I’d even go so far as to say it’s the homogenising of Black music… and i’m not Black myself, but I love music of Black origin, and I don’t remember the last time anything in the charts sounded like it was- and even then it had a face like Duffy slapped on it to make it palatable (lol).

Personally, I don’t mind ‘Acapella’ as a joint, it reminds me of a tribute to Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’, which was a fantastic, pioneering piece of Electro. That WAS 30 years ago though, lol. This stuff Kelis’ making right now isn’t refreshing (and she was once the enfant terrible of refreshing). Diplo, BoyzNoise, Switch are all great producers in their field (David Guetta can burn in hell however), This is just Kelis’ development of what everyone else is making in the ‘Rn’B’ mainstream (I probably speak more for the UK since my experience is sharpest this side of the pond). The tracks above are well produced Electronic numbers (I actually quite like 4th of July a lot). So, Dance/Electro/House music is alive and well. Cool. Well done. But it’s a shame actual Rn’B is dead however.

If Kelis wants to do something daring, keeping the Gaga hand-me downs on, but atleast resurrect Rn’B and re-invent it for the 2010s. Somebody. Anybody.

Comment by Fantastic**t

I’m not sure where I stand on this, I’m mean I am 16 and in high school but when Acapella comes on at a party, everyone just goes mental, and if the video it playing with it this its just bliss, but I guess this song is coming from Kelis, who basically made her name for herself with Milkshake. Lil’ Star was good, but I think this is bound to be one of the most exciting albums of 2010, 4th of July is immense, and 22nd Century is quite decent. Its not ground breaking stuff, and whilst it is borrowing samples of Gaga/Rihanna as you said, why fix a problem if its not broke? This dance crazes will soon die out, and then we’ll see how artists try and grow and expand, but for the time being, I’m really excited for Flesh Tone.

Comment by M

22nd Century is pure fire..It’s Kelis at her best flexing her deep alto rhaspy voice! Love it! I like all the new traz minus 4th of July! I just can’t handle another boring Alicia Keys or Beyonce’s…it’s all about me and my screaming in my tights! Kelis is just giving her true fans a breath of fresh creative air….

Comment by Roam

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