Kelis : Young Fresh N’New

If you've been wondering what happened to Prince, well, here she is. After cleaning up on the awards circuit and becoming a poster girl for style supplement fashion

If you’ve been wondering what happened to Prince, well, here she is.

After cleaning up on the awards circuit and becoming a poster girl for style supplement fashion, this startling record is a reminder of the real purpose behindKelis and her famous hair. Unlike ‘Caught Out There’ or ‘Good Stuff’,’Young Fresh N’New’ works quite hard at [I]not being a blatant pop charmer, at [I]not soundtracking a million club-carpark fights. One spin of its omnivorous “hey boy/hey girl/hey sentient being”, groove, however, and it instantly challenges Missy’s ‘Get Ur Freak On’ for dancefloor supremacy. There’s sudden splashes of synthetic soul sighing, perfectly timed shouts of “hey!” – an unsettling underage vibe in the lyrics and a vocal that doesn’t so much drip attitude as oil-spill it. It’s ‘Sign O The Times’ realigned by The Neptunes and – hey! – it’s pretty much immaculate. Young, fresh and new, no less – and at this stage in the game, that’s playing to win.

Victoria Segal,