Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1099

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Kelis: Live In London (Concert Live Ltd)

Kelis Live in London (Concert Live LTD)



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UK release date 24.11.2014

Following the release of her culinary inspired studio album "Food" in April, one of R&B's most colourful, left-field diva Kelis returns with a live album. "Live In London" captures her live set in Somerset House, London on a warm July evening, earlier this year. "I feel Good too", Kelis tells the audience before launching into opener, the Nina Simone classic "Feeling Good". The sultry melody and unmistakable horn blasts of the intro compliment her naturally deep tone. Never before have two more seemingly different artists come together and been such a perfect match. Next is "Breakfast" a tune taken from “Food”- an album which celebrates Kelis' more organically soulful side rather than the experimental beeps and bleeps electronic production of The Neptunes on her early work.

Her new, more Earthy approach to music is perfect for this kind of live set. The sound is full, with tight, layered, "girl group" inspired backing vocals. That's not to say the electronics have been completely left behind. Hearing the opening riff of "Millionaire"speedily tinkled out on the keyboard is greeted loudly by the crowd. New album tracks continue in the form of an even raspier than usual rendition of the feisty breakup song "Rumble" and Bossa nova flavoured "Cobbler".The latter makes for one of the recording's stand out tracks (Warning: you may want to hold your breath during the Minnie Riperton -esue whistle note which thankfully is executed flawlessly).

Oldies like the bouncy, ska tinged "Trick Me" and "Got Your Money" are clear fan favourites garnering enthusiastic audience sing-a-longs. "1-2-3-4 Hey Dirty/Baby I got your money" Kelis says as she counts her fans in to help her sing the hook on the ODB classic. While the medley of "Get along With You/ Good Stuff/Glow" work well, it does feel like the “Kaleidoscope era” was unnecessarily rushed through. Perhaps it wasn't given it's due in this jammed pack set which is a shame. The Latina arrangement on a reworking of Kelis' mega hit "Milkshake" is funky and infectious. Not an obvious musical choice, it's instrumentation brings a renewed energy and fresh perspective to the well known track. Finale, "Accapella" is sung beautifully and allows the band shine, with piano, brass, and vocals all coming to the fore.

A warm, soulful, live performance that will remind fans just how many great songs Kelis actually has in her repertoire.
Words Karen Lawler

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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