Musings on music delivered when I dig myself out.

Bronzer in shoe

OR Kelis's cover of The Pretenders' "Brass In Pocket"

Is it strange that Scarlet Johansson and her pinky wig spring to mind when I hear this? While it's undecidedly hipster/not hipster of me to say so (fuck you, really), I can't deny it. Johansson has a naturally nice, yet untalented voice that does a reasonable job with the tune. But a Kelis version shouldn't be in even the same karaoke bar, right? And yet, there they are, sharing fuck stories and altogether making spectacular drinking pals. Maybe it's because Kelis's canned brown sugar pipes (anyone else think she did this up in Pharrell's spaceship?) are so starkly different from the haughty precision of Chrissie Hynde. Chrissie wants to lead you to a single bed in a white room and screw you in the least involved way possible. Kelis (or Scarlet, I guess) wants to put her hands in your pants, grab the brass ring lead and you to the balcony or floor or bathroom.

Well... that's what it ought to be like. Still like her pink-coiffed compadre, Kelis's take on "Brass In Pocket" barely spills over the edges of the original. Instrumentally it's cast from the same mold, the only difference being the livelier production. Few chances and few surprises vocally, just a lot of audio-butter oozing outta her mouth. There's a sweet line about Detroit-leaning that Kelis sells a hell of a lot better than Hynde did, but that's peanuts. Someone should tell me that they shoved our girl K into the studio moments after she woke up; I'd believe it. Missing the sexy, missing the musical playfulness, missing everything I've come to expect from Ms. Milkshake. I wish I wasn't thinking that it might be the Neps that make Kelis great, but this cover does't afford me many other perspectives. To paraphrase an ILM quote, I hope her next album isn't this straight-forward. Straight-laced and sweatpants-wearing isn't you, honey!

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