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Kelis - 'Acapella'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:03 UK time, Thursday, 15 April 2010


Now here's an irony: here's a song about being swept up in a new love, and transformed by the giddy thrill to such a degree that everything that happened before seems drab and grey by comparison. It's also a song which is itself so sparkling and loveable as to make other pop songs seem un-inspired and un-glorious, even the really good ones.

It is, therefore, a song which could very easily create the very same feelings about itself that it is trying to describe in song form. A clash of subject and effect which, if it fell into the wrong hands, could spell the end of reality as we know and breathe it.

Or it could just be a nice song to have in your mind as you go about your business.

(Here's the video. It's feathery.)

Just LISTEN to it though! It would be enough that it has a melody which leaps from skyhook to treetop to enormous trapeze without missing its grip for a second. It would be enough that this melody has been launched from a throat of pure devotion, and is borne aloft by a host of angelic harmonies. Hell, it would even be enough that this manages to make gratitude sound like the most ecstatic pleasure imaginable.

But to do all this while summoning the ghosts of Donna Summer and her astonishing synth-disco amazingness from the '70s - without 'I Feel Love' in its DNA, 'Acapella' would be, well, a capella - just puts the shine on the cherry on the other cherry on the icing on the cake. And it's a cherry cake.

Five starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: May 10th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.

    If ever a song sounded like a top ten hit then it's this one !

    A fantastic comeback single from Kelis , famous for previous 5 star singles such as Caught Out There , Milkshake and Trick Me .

    The hynotic vocal and it's huge chorus hook , have quite rightly gained an A list at Radio 1 , a whole month before physical release , such is the appeal of this track . Added to the mix is the glorious technicolour of the video , whose final frame , elevates the message of the song to truly wonderful heights.

    There are some great club mixes of this track , and it is going down a storm on the club scene .

    I firmly expect this to be in the top ten this Sunday , (where you will find Usher and Scouting For Girls battling for number 1 , my money's on the wedding aide by the way ) , but in the coming weeks interest in Acapella will grow even more and then it will challenge for the top prizes.

    Acapella - 5 stars

    The album Flesh Tone is out May 17th .

  • Comment number 2.

    Love this. Love Kelis. I think my favourite female artist.

    I'm so glad she's back and signed up with will.i.am's label - access to will.iam and guetta production should be a captivating mix with Kelis' style, although I'm hoping she maintains some of her previous styles as well as the more contemporary tracks like acapella.

    Of course 5 stars. Def top 5, hopefully number 1.

  • Comment number 3.

    This song is just insanely good.

    I just hope they get the promotion right and she rockets to number one. It well deserves it.

    Apparently she does too, as an artist. Huge critcal aclaim, renounded for making some fantastic urban music.. yet never really fullfilled potential. her sucess in the US is also limited. She is a reasonably well known artist, but can people name many hits apart from 'Milk shake' .. I can name like 3 others. Not many considering her discography.

    Maybe this album will propell her really into the big time.

    This song is about her son by the way, not a lover!

  • Comment number 4.

    Yeah, for some reason the US didnt take to Kelis as much as the UK. She has enjoyed more success and recognition here. Even with a high profile marriage to Nas. A grittier version of Jay and Beyonce.

    Surely you can remember tracks like Caught out there, Trick me, Lil' Star (with Cee lo) and Millionaire (with Andre 3000)?

    Although, I do here Caught out there being referred to as 'the one where she shouts', so maybe not. If you are into urban music, id definitely recommend her first and fourth albums (Kaleidoscope and Kelis was here). spectacular.

  • Comment number 5.

    The tracks I remembered before looking at the list were 'Milkshake', 'Trick me' and 'Millionaire', the obvious ones.

  • Comment number 6.

    Caught Out There goes something like this: " I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!
    'Twas one of the first songs to actually scare me...

  • Comment number 7.

    That was her? o.O ... Youtube moment... Lol. I of course recognise it. Not her finest hour..

  • Comment number 8.

    Wow, I really like this. I think so far this is probably Kelis's best track. My personal favorite is still Lil Star, and I like all of her big songs but "Caught Out There" (It would be good if it weren't for the screaming. I seriously think this could be number 1. Not this week (either Usher of Scouting For Girls", but maybe next week.

  • Comment number 9.

    Kelis Acapella in at 5 !!

    Watch it climb .

    Comment 1408 and others on Rybak , for the appeal , that a lot of us could hear , as soon as we heard this song .

  • Comment number 10.

    I must agree with some previous comments , that both Millionaire and Lil Star , are first class Kelis tracks .

  • Comment number 11.

    This is an amazing song. When I heard the first 10 seconds of it, I was immediately hooked on it! I like the video, very clever... It is about her son isnt it? (the song?)

  • Comment number 12.

    Well like all great songs , the meaning of this wonderful track , is open to the listener to interpret it how they would like .

    However , the wonderful , moving , and beautifully shot , final frames of this video , gives a wonderful insight into the thoughts of the singer.

    A wonderful "reveal " , and that touch of magic , that gives the song a wonderful aura of wonder and awe .

  • Comment number 13.

    I can see this topping the charts, I've said this from day 1. It's so brilliant in production and her husky, brassy vocals really lend a unique quality to the song, I feel could still be around in the summer and will be one of the real summer anthems of 2010.

    Kudos, Kelis!

  • Comment number 14.

    Oh btw, it's a 5 star song for me too. (:

  • Comment number 15.

    Has anyone heard some of the other songs from Flesh Tone - 4th of July and 22nd Century. They're both fantastic songs and have me really excited about the album. And while still having commercial appeal, they have a sort of alternative feel and it doesn't just sound like Kelis is jumping on the dance/electropop bandwagon.

    I'm really hyped up about her new album, available on 21st May.

  • Comment number 16.

    Have to say I love this track and the video is stunning.

  • Comment number 17.

    Brilliant ! The Bristol girl , ( what a lovely place, by the way , just about to go for a run round the Downs with Muse , Adam Lambert and David Bowie on my I-POD !) , has joined us on another song.

    Hope you stick around Pixie .

  • Comment number 18.

    very happy to hear about the return of Kelis - always one doing something different - loved her previous albums, looking forward to the new one. this single is enjoyable and catchy and am loving me some electro pop.

  • Comment number 19.

    Spirit I don't think I can cope with any more conversation about Adam Lambert. Welcome to pixie :)

  • Comment number 20.

    Possibly the catchiest song around. Lovely.

  • Comment number 21.


    lol jonesy !

  • Comment number 22.

    Hello Pixie, fancy meeting you here :)I quite like this song too.

  • Comment number 23.

    Refer to my post on Lambert about posting regularly about different songs...Well done Peroxidepixie and magsmagenta!!!!Seriously though, this is what I meant!

    On the song, I love it now! And the bit at the end of the video is hilarious!! I think I just didn't give the song enough of a chance, a well deserved hit!

  • Comment number 24.

    I absolutely love this song, it's a grower, I'm glad it got a good reception!

  • Comment number 25.

    So not quite the complete smash we'd hoped for.. but still did well.

  • Comment number 26.

    If someone like Leona Lewis had released Acapella it would be no.1 for weeks... and probably rubbish.

    I prefer it being good than no.1 personally

  • Comment number 27.

    But Acapella is not released for another until the 10th May. It could get to Number 1 yet.

  • Comment number 28.

    I am mad on this, in fact it's had well over 100 plays on my iPod and I now have 36 mixes of it...brilliant song, one of the best singles for a long long time...and i'm no Kelis fan.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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