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Kelis - '4th Of July (Fireworks)'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:03 UK time, Sunday, 4 July 2010


What? So she's had herself photoshopped as half-woman, half-dog. What's the big deal? Plenty of people do that! Like David Bowie - although he had a painter to do it for him.

Mind you, he ran into LOADS of trouble, and not just because it's hard enough house-training a dog, without having to cater to a pop star's ego too.

No, when Bowie did it, he got complaints because the way his canine derriere was arranged, much like the way the dog end of Kelis is lying here, showed off a certain amount of, ah, undercarriage. Nothing suggestive, you understand, just, yknow, THERE. Back in the early '70s this was considered FAR too racey for impressionable young minds - even among dog owners. So the offending area then had to be painted back out again, rendering Bowie a more gender-neutral sort of half-man half-dog.

It's fair to say you do not get this kind of situation with N-Dubz.

(Here's the video. Anyone for desert?)

Sadly, the reason I am rambling on about something which happened over 35 years ago is that there's not much else to talk about in relation to '4th of July (Fireworks)' by the pop star Kelis.

As a song, this doesn't really ever happen. There are dance noises, there is singing, there are words, but they don't ever synthesise into something that makes any kind of impact whatsoever. And believe me, I have TRIED.

Even after making myself listen, attentively, several times, over different days, in different places, and with the kind of concentration you'd normally only see on the face of a professional sportsman...I can't remember a single thing, except that I'd rather whack 'Acapella' on again. That was (and still is) amazing...

It's not that all music should rendered down into easily-processed mush, or structured to DEMAND ATTENTION from the first second you clap ears on it. Lots of songs need a couple of goes before their true treasures are revealed in full. But this is more like sifting through a Christmas pudding for sixpences, only to discover that they were all put in another pudding, and given to better-behaved children, and what you've been poking around in is actually porridge, made of sawdust, and served with nothing sauce.

Bit of a dog's breakfast, is what I am saying...

Two starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Oh No They Didn't says: "What better way to proclaim your happiness with music that makes people want to dance and be happy.."

Honourable Media says: "It's hard to tolerate her voice on this song."

Real Horrorshow Tunes says: "['4th Of July'] has a brilliant chorus and piano part."



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