Picks and Pans Review: Kelis

updated 08/28/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/28/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Kelis Was Here

With Kelis, R&B never stands for "routine and boring." Her banging 2003 hit "Milkshake" gave the mainstream a taste of her genre-bending blend of soul, funk and hip-hop. Now the sassy singer is back shaking things up with her fourth album, which establishes that Kelis is here to stay. Working without longtime producers the Neptunes for the first time, Kelis demonstrates that she is a woman firmly in control on cuts like the slinky first single "Bossy," on which she boasts, "I switched up the beat of the drum/That's right, I brought all the boys to the yard." From '80s electro-funk (the will.i.am-assisted "Weekend") to breezy '70s soul ("Lil Star," produced by Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo Green), Kelis confidently handles it all. She even brings out the freak in Britney Spears producer Max Martin on the rock-edged "I Don't Think So."

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