One of the more tragically underrated active performers, Kelis has crafted a unique, unpredictable career. Continually expanding the scope of her sonic output, she has released a handful of collaborator-heavy albums each notably different than the last but just as good, and the same is true here with “Food”: While the album’s overall concept (assigning various foods to signify emotion or happenstance) is strained, the music itself is riveting. Everything from dub-step to hip hop to country to adult contemporary to blues is included here, sometimes even in the same song, and Kelis’s vocal delivery remains magnetic yet thrillingly unreachable. This isn’t her strongest album overall but it continues her near-spotless track record, and should satisfy fans of inventive artists not afraid to take risks over and over.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)