By Jessica Herndon V.R. PETERSON Chuck Arnold and Ralph Novak
Updated August 28, 2006 12:00 PM

Kelis Was Here

With Kelis, R&B never stands for “routine and boring.” Her banging 2003 hit “Milkshake” gave the mainstream a taste of her genre-bending blend of soul, funk and hip-hop. Now the sassy singer is back shaking things up with her fourth album, which establishes that Kelis is here to stay. Working without longtime producers the Neptunes for the first time, Kelis demonstrates that she is a woman firmly in control on cuts like the slinky first single “Bossy,” on which she boasts, “I switched up the beat of the drum/That’s right, I brought all the boys to the yard.” From ’80s electro-funk (the “Weekend”) to breezy ’70s soul (“Lil Star,” produced by Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo Green), Kelis confidently handles it all. She even brings out the freak in Britney Spears producer Max Martin on the rock-edged “I Don’t Think So.”