Monday, 16 April 2012

Kelis featuring Cee-Lo 'Little Star'

Chart Peak: 3


In strong contrast to her breakthrough single 'Caught Out There' which was packed full of attitude, Kelis shows her vulnerable side in 'Lil Star' which scored her a Top 3 hit in February 2007... It was produced by Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley fame and features him on backing vocals.
It's easy to forget that there was a time when Kelis was considered a bigger name than Cee-Lo - I seem to have missed the meeting in 2010 where it was decided that he was the only singer worth playing on UK radio for the next 18 months - but that was just about still the case in early 2007. His assistance was still valuable though as she needed a comeback hit after the much-vaunted first single from her album stiffed at 22. This more mainstream radio-friendly single was her only hope of reviving her career, although it didn't get the album more than one extra week in the Top 75.

Personally I always found this quite irritating. Kelis claims that she wrote the song in a moment of low confidence and that might well be true but somehow by the time it's been recorded and come out as a single it feels a little too much like a forced fishing for respect. Maybe it would have worked better if it didn't sound so drippy musically, or even if they hadn't copied the melody of the theme from M*A*S*H, but both singers seem to be using the least pleasant parts of their voices on this one as well and the finished article is just too cloying. A different sort of desperation to be liked from Mika's but no more to my liking.

Also appearing on: Now 45; 56 [with Richard X]; 57; 58; 59; 76; 79 {with Calvin Harris]
Available on: Kelis Was Here

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