Category Archives: Kelis

New Music Monday

People, people, PEOPLE! Is it something we’ve done? Do we just put you off things? Like, “oh, well, if 3mins30secs are saying it’s good then maybe we should show them by not buying it. Yeah, fuck them! We’ll bring them down”, etc, etc. We only ask because the new Mystery Jets album entered at no. 42, whilst that Kelis single entered one place higher than the new Lee Ryan single (!) at no. 32. To recap, a hugely underrated band who can seemingly knock a hit single out in their sleep miss the bit of the chart anyone cares about, whilst a bonafide club banger enters one place higher than a man who claimed whales being hunted was somehow more of a pressing urgency than global terrorism. If we were school teachers we’d be calling you all in for a detention, making you write lines and filling your heads with religious doctrines. Yeah, it’s that bad! By the way, Big Boi missed out too but, frankly, we’re passed caring now. Roll out this week’s victims…


The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe

We’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. Ladies and gentleman, members of the jury, please welcome the future…Janelle Monáe! We did a bit of writing on this album, emailed it to The Guardian and they only went and put it in their printed pages thingy and on the interweb super highway. This is a link. It’s as if it says everything we wanted to say about the album in a neatly packaged 150 word review. Needless to say, The ArchAndroid is aceness.


/\/\/\Y/\ by M.I.A

OK, so she’s not everyone’s cup of tea and a lot of the time her political polemic seems to stem from a desire to cause controversy as opposed to a genuine desire to spread a specific message, but as an artist she’s never less than really very interesting. The difficult to spell /\/\/\Y/\ is her third album and first since she got properly famous (Grammy awards, Oscar nominations, etc), so what does she do? She makes an album based mainly on the sound of drills, weird internet connection noises and Suicide samples. Thankfully, amongst all that racket, there are some genuinely excellent songs, including the lovely ‘Tell Me Why’ (produced by Diplo), the dreamy ‘Space’ and the frazzled, ‘Teqkilla’. Well worth a listen, as ever.


‘Bang Bang Bang’ by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl feat. Q-Tip and MNDR

Well, who’d have thunk it? Mark Ronson has only gone and made a very very good pop single and there’s not a horn in sight. ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is a blast of synths, all tumbling about all over each other, whilst newcomer MNDR adds some sultry vocals and the permanently chillaxed Q-Tip adds some stylish rap-talk. Perfect.


Kelly Rowland’s new video’s a bit shit, huh?

Kelly Rowland, aka the one that’s not Beyoncé or, er, the third one from Destiny’s Child, has a new single out. As is de rigour these days, she’s enlisted the production skillz of David Guetta, who also helmed Kelis‘ ‘Acapella’ and will no doubt produce nearly every pop/R&B album this side of 2015. On a scale of Lady Gaga to N-Dubz, ‘Commander’ is a bit Mis-Teeq, i.e. it’s nearly there, but it’s a bit cheap sounding.

Perhaps Kelly’s ‘people’ thought the same thing as they’ve basically helped create one of the shabbiest looking music videos. For one, Rowland’s wearing what looks like a hacked version of that red PVC thing Britney wore a few years back, but with some Elizabeth Duke jewellery stapled on; there’s a guy at the beginning with talc in his hair (talc!?); the catwalk/crowd scenes are woeful and then it just cuts to a completely different video with Guetta gurning and twirling about like the hip old dance producer he is. It most definitely is NOT a video Beyoncé would make and we know she’s probably trying to distance herself from comparisons, but making a budget video that detracts from the song is not the way to do it.

New Music Monday

Last week wasn’t a good example of what we at 3mins30secs stand for. We were jaded, tired and we took you for granted, so please accept our sincerest apologies. Basically, we’ve had a Mary Portas-style look at ourselves and decided to tighten up, look at what’s happening in the modern marketplace and sell veg boxes to the local community…oh, no, we haven’t. Erm, we’re going to finish posts properly and not just give up. Anyway, we mentioned some albums last week and one of those was the new Scissor Sisters record and that charted at no. 2, with about 50,000 sales, less than a quarter of what their last album Ta-Dah sold in its first week. Just goes to show what happens when you don’t have a big first single. Those Tesco album buyers are a pretty fickle bunch. All eyes down for this week’s selection.


Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty by Big Boi

When Outkast released Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2003, it was supposed to signify the end of their working relationship. Essentially two solo albums fused together under the Outkast moniker, it felt safe to assume actual solo albums would follow. Instead, they released the flawed (but mainly amazing) Idlewild soundtrack and there’s talk of reconvening soon to record a follow-up proper. Whilst that percolates, the more hip-hop half of the duo has finally finished his debut effort, an album first started about five years ago and one that has been passed from label to label. It’s not clear why no-one wanted it; ‘Shutterbugg’ is one of the best hip-hop singles of recent years, ‘General Patton’ samples some classical piece from 1962 and is bonkers and Janelle Monáe is on it, ergo, it must be brilliant. He may not dress like a transsexual, but Big Boi is clearly not to be thought of as the straight foil to Andre 3000‘s maverick genius.


Serotonin by Mystery Jets

We did a big thing about this album a while back so there’s no need to dissect all further. What we will say is that a). they deserve success more than most bands because they write brilliant songs and yet no-one seems to care and b). it’s an actual grower and not just an album that screams “NOW” and then disappears down the back of your stereo speakers. Plus, ‘Lady Grey’ makes us dance AND cry at the same time, which is one of favourite past times.


4th of July (Fireworks) by Kelis

Right, now, we all know what went wrong last time don’t we? ‘Acapella’ was a big hit, and rightly so, but then no-one went out to buy the parent album, Flesh Tone. So, Kelis has played her part and selected another all out pop banger and she’s relying on you to make this a success and, in turn, the album. If this doesn’t happen we will continue to live in a world where Ke$ha and Pixie Lott are considered actual pop stars. Do you want that on your conscience? If you do, we can’t help you, if you don’t, get buying. We’ll reconvene here next week to see how well you did.

“Is it just me who thinks this sounds like Men In Black?”

Yes, Domsonthecase from Youtube it is. This is the second single to be taken from Kelis‘ fifth studio album, Flesh Tone. There’s a proper whistle in mouth, day-glo gloves, rave in a field moment around the two minute mark which we hope you’ll enjoy.

New Music Monday

Last week was a bit of an odd one for us. We were aware that Musick (our old blog) was dying, and frankly we wanted to leave the room as it’s slowly decaying body spluttered and heaved its way towards the final curtain. Or something. In actuality, we were having a bad day and were feeling a bit lazy. Things weren’t helped by a general lack of good releases – hence the MC Hammer suggestion (which we stick to by the way) – but this week is a bumper edition as recompense. But first, let’s go through the motions and say that the Wild Nothing album didn’t get anywhere, neither did the Chapel Club single and frankly you’re lucky we’re even talking to you after the whole Kelis and Hurts double debacle. Let’s move on to pastures new, and 3mins30secs first New Music Monday (the ‘k’ had to go, obvs).


The Drums by The Drums

Since they arrived on the music scene like some giant cheekbone, The Drums have ruffled many a feather by being a). Good looking and b). Having a handful of amazing songs. Their debut EP, Summertime, is very near perfection and though their sound isn’t original, there’s something undeniable about those seven songs. Their self-titled debut album stretches their fairly basic sound of highly strung guitar riffs, drum machines and Jonathan Pearce’s pained yelp to breaking point, but it still retains their amazing hit rate when it comes to brilliant choruses that bore into your brain.


Before Today by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

We reviewed this album for The Guardian last week. This has no baring on anything other than a neat way to show off. Before Today is a rather wonderful amalgam of early ’80s FM radio with ’70s stoner rock, spearheaded by Ariel Pink, a man who has made about a thousand albums and who looks like he’s not washed since 1991. This album is genuinely brilliant and that’s all we’re going to say on the matter.


Bionic by Christina Aguilera

It’s odd to think that Christina Aguilera isn’t the biggest pop star in the world in 2010. She’s not even in the top 3. It’s weird because around the time of the Stripped album you’d have bet on her taking the mantle that Lady GaGa rudely snatched and wore as a bra, and even Britney returned from oblivion to be maneuvered around the stage long enough to have two US number 1 singles. And yet it’s Aguilera who seems to be having an identity crisis and the sales aren’t what they used to be (Not Myself Tonight, the album’s first single missed the UK top 10 and the US top 20). Bionic has some stellar collaborators – Switch, Sia, M.I.A, Santigold, Le Tigre, Ladytron, Cathy Dennis, Peaches, etc, etc – and yet the amazing tracks are either surrounded by generic R&B filler (yeah thanks Polow da Don, fuck off now, yeah) or dumped onto the bonus tracks bit of the special edition. Our advice? Get on wikipedia, work out who produced what and buy the best ones on iTunes.


‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ by Giggs

We reviewed this single for The Guardian last week. This has no baring on anything other than a neat way to show off. (We’ll stop now). ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ features Giggs’ gruff rumble of a voice mixed with some brilliantly cheap sounding beats and a chorus that’s catchy without the need to be sung by a member of a girlband who were passed their prime 5 years ago. Huzzah Giggs, huzzah.

New Musick Monday

We need to have words. Seriously. Move closer, sit down and just fucking listen for once. How could you let Kelis‘ new album enter at no. 42? For those of you without a degree in maths, that means she missed the Top 40, whilst albums from the likes of Boyzone and Scouting For Girls pranced around in the upper echelons like they owned the place. Disgraceful. Still, LCD Soundsystem managed to gatecrash the top 10, which just goes to show that acres of press and a handful of amazing reviews do have an influence after all.  Jamie Lidell was nowhere to be seen and the Laura Marling single followed her last effort into the lower reaches of the Top 75. A decidedly mixed bag in other words. Here are some more things no-one will buy…


Becoming A Jackal by Villagers

Villagers, aka Conor J. O’Brien, makes the kind of music that’s easy to dismiss. Earnest, studied and never knowingly exciting, his appearance on Jools Holland a few months ago had some very serious music critics talking very seriously about how he’s the new Radiohead. Debut album Becoming A Jackal doesn’t support this theory of course, but it does showcase an emerging young talent and as it creeps out of the speakers it’s hard to dislike. O’Brien’s influences are obvious – yes, a dash of Radiohead here, a helping of Bright Eyes there, a smattering of Elliott Smith just about everywhere – but he manages to create something interesting with the ingredients (have we laboured the food metaphor enough yet? Can we stir it up some more? Perhaps add a garnish of cliche, or a drizzling of empty compliments?). Anyways, it’s better then you expect it to be, which is high praise indeed, is it not?


Treats by Sleigh Bells

We’ve already done a big thing about this so we won’t repeat ourselves. What we will say is that we accidentally illegally downloaded this thinking that it wasn’t out here for ages and then we go and find it on iTunes…SORRY.


‘Better Than Love’ by Hurts

We guest edited some kind of spam email thing and in it we had to pick our favourite current track and we picked this. It’s like Depeche Mode meets Tears For Fears meets Ultravox and yet somehow it’s better than even that makes it sound. The fact that it has two brilliant choruses doesn’t hurt(s), nor does the very lesbian video. After all the hype and the plaudits, it’s nice to see a band genuinely come good on their early promise. Now, don’t fuck it up this time general public, we’re relying on you.

New Musick Monday

It seems our mild indifference towards Foals second album didn’t put people off buying it; entering at number 8, it’s the band’s second top ten album in a row. However, their debut peaked at no. 3, so that’s five chart placings they’ve lost in the interim and at the end of the day, five chart placings are five chart placings. Or something. Holy Fuck did diddily squat, whilst the fresh-faced Mini Viva may soon be stacking shelves in the Minute Mart (or not, seeing as it’s fictional) as their third single misses the Top 40 altogether. This week is a bit of a bumper edition, so let’s crack on…


This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem

Whilst not quite the all out amazingfest that is Sound Of Silver, the third (and perhaps last?) LCD Soundsystem album is still about twenty-six times better than anything else around at the moment. As ever, James Murphy sounds simultaneously bored, dazed and perpetually confused and his general sense of brattishness comes to the fore on tracks such as ‘Drunk Girls’ and ‘You Wanted A Hit’ (essentially an ode to his record label). Highlights include the slow-burn opener, ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ and the Bowie-esque ‘All I Want’.


Flesh Tone by Kelis

Four years after the patchy Kelis Was Here and a year after she got sick of husband Nas‘ (alleged) philandering and filed for divorce, Kelis is back with a new dance-orientated sound. Featuring production from David Guetta, Benny Benassi and label boss,, Flesh Tone ups the bpm to almost mind-boggling levels, with weird sonic squiggles and huge synths dominating the album. Single ‘Acapella’ is a sweet ode to her baby son, whilst ‘4th Of July (Fireworks)’ and ’22nd Century’ are like futuristic rave anthems in waiting. A welcome return.


Compass by Jamie Lidell

Jamie Lidell has always been a bit of an odd fit with the Warp roster, his albums more likely to feature some soulful organ stabs as opposed to a beat that sounds like the inner workings of a beetle’s mind. Whilst 2008’s Jim at times sounded like the perfect soul pastiche album, Compass is more slapdash, with songs careening between beat box, sax, distorted percussion and Lidell’s elastic vocals. Featuring the likes of Feist, Beck and three members of Grizzly Bear (the band’s Chris Taylor co-produces), it’s all over the place but with a melodic core that’s undeniable.


‘Rambling Man’ by Laura Marling

Because you’ll regret it if you don’t.

New Musick Monday

Last week we strongly advised you to bypass purchasing the new Scouting For Girls album in favour of donating money to any given charity. Whilst we collate the information to find out just how much you raised, it gives us great pleasure to announce that the ‘band’ failed in their attempt to score a second number 1, their flaccid excuse for an album flopping listlessly at number 2. MGMT entered at number 4, but we predict a pretty spectacular fall once the people who haven’t read the reviews start telling all their mates there’s no ‘Kids’ on it. In the singles chart, Kelis scored her ninth top 10 single as ‘Acapella’ strutted in at number 5. But enough of the past, let’s step into the future (or the present)…


Expressions by Music Go Music

This trio from LA make sun-kissed, ’70s FM radio style music that would make ABBA think twice about releasing something so immediate. Much of Expressions is like being transported back to a time that probably didn’t even exist, but has been created by a nostalgia machine on a full spin cycle. There’s plenty to love though, from the ADHD of opener ‘I Walk Alone’ to the long lost ABBA single that is ‘Light Of Love’, to ‘Warm In The Shadows’ ten minutes of sheer disco joy. Chances are you won’t want to listen to it very often – it could have the reverse effect and cause some kind of gun-toting rampage – but as a blast of cheesy but brilliantly crafted pop, it’s of an (ABBA) Gold standard.


Swim by Caribou

Everyone’s been going on about this guy and this album and we were going to buy it, we really were, but things happened and it slipped our minds. We could lie and ramble on about how we’ve heard it and it’s wonderful (not that we’ve EVER lied before you understand), but that seems a bit mean, so instead, we’ll just point you in its direction and let you make up your own minds.


‘I Feel Better’ by Hot Chip

What’s a band got to do? You make a killer video, get an alt-folk legend to do a remix and still Radio 1 refuse to playlist the catchiest song form your album. Hot Chip have twittered (tweeted? Twot?) that their new release has rather died on its arse following Radio 1’s refusal to playlist it and have, quite rightly, pointed out that 6Music is needed more than ever if new acts (or just any acts that aren’t 3OH!3 or Diana Vickers) are going to succeed. So, after out heroics last week, let’s see if we can get Hot Chip the top 10 single they deserve. Let’s start a Facebook campaign! ARE YOU WITH US? Oh, no? OK…

New Musick Monday

Here at Musick Towers our internet connection appears to currently be powered by two mice, running furiously on tiny wheels, so this edition of the award-winning New Musick Monday may be cut short at any moment. With that in mind, let’s cut the crap and get right to the good stuff; Rufus Wainwright was last week’s real winner, entering at number 21, whilst She & Him and Darwin Deez both bowed at number 62, the former on the album chart and the latter in the singles version. So, who’s stepping up to the plate this week?


Congratulations by MGMT 

This is fast becoming one of the most over-analysed albums in recent years, with every critic worth his salt mewing about the fact that the band have ditched their sound in favour of eighteen minute long impressionist soundscapes. In reality, Congratulations is a brilliant mix of English psych rock and a very peculiar sense of humour, one that finds them crafting a song about how Brian Eno is responsible for just about every sound we hear. Sure there’s a twelve minute long song that sounds like a brief run through of popular music and a fairly odious instrumental called Lady Dada’s Nightmare, but it’s on the quieter moments that you realise how well-crafted it all is. I Found A Whistle and Someone’s Missing in particular are both quietly devastating, whilst the closing title track tells you all you need to know about why they’ve ‘ditched’ the sound of old.


Everybody Wants To Be On TV by Scouting For Girls

Seriously, if you’ve got a spare tenner and you’re thinking of buying this album, then don’t. Instead, why not donate the money to any of the causes below, thus helping your fellow man and giving you the warm glow inside that only comes from hindering a band as loathsomely inept as Scouting For Girls (what is that name about!? Isn’t that the name that three serial killers would come up with if they wanted to form a band in order to lure people to a den and murder them?). Anyway, here are the links:
Cancer Research
The Music Therapy Charity (for the future!)


‘Acapella’ by Kelis

Christ knows we’ve gone about this a lot already, but it’s out to buy on iTunes now so we thought we’d mention it again. It’s always nice to have pop stars like Kelis around and she’s been off the radar for too long, so rejoice with us that she’s back, making slightly off-kilter dance tunes like this one. One, two, three, “Huzzah!”.

Acapella, ella, ella, eh

Band: Kelis
Title: ‘Acappella’
Album: Flesh Tone (due 17 May)

We mentioned this song a while back and now it has an equally bonkers video, which finds our intrepid explorer in a jungle, a desert and some kind of hareem surrounded by wolves. Just like those Michael Palin documentaries of old.