Picks and Pans Review: Tasty

updated 12/22/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/22/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

Kelis
R&B
CRITIC'S CHOICE

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With her first two releases, 1999's Kaleidoscope and 2001's Wanderland, singer Kelis (full name: Kelis Rogers) failed to find the right song to put her quirky brand of R&B funk on the music map. She's finally got it on her third CD, though, in the deliriously fun first single "Milkshake." A banging club jam with a percolating groove, spacey programming and a chant-along chorus ("My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard/And they're like/It's better than yours/Damn right/It's better than yours/I can teach you/But I have to charge"), it ranks next to OutKast's "Hey Ya!" as the grooviest song on the radio. Although there is nothing else quite as delicious here, Tasty serves up plenty of fresh funk laced with crisp hip-hop beats and vocals that range from smooth to sassy. Singer Raphael Saadiq produced and performs on the shimmering soul ditty "Glow," while OutKast's Andre 3000 makes a dream duet partner on the Princely "Millionaire." But Kelis's pairing with rapper-beau Nas on the sexually explicit "In Public" lacks real heat.

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