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In 2008, she celebrated her extrication from a rotten record deal by enrolling in Cordon Bleu culinary school. Since then she has launched her own range of sauces and piloted a cookery show on television in the United States.

Last month, she launched this ­album by taking her own food truck to the South By South West festival.

The album is replete with food-themed song titles and, thanks in large part to the eclectic tastes of producer Dave Sitek – the hipster Mark Ronson – has turned out as something of a musical gumbo, ­featuring African brass, Indian strings, strutting blues and expressive use of male and female backing vocals in the mix.

Kelis claims that “everything is better either smothered or poured”. Fortunately, she is talking sauces, not music. Sonically, she and Sitek don’t overload the table. Some of the more effective numbers are shrewd in their use of dynamics, spotlighting her husky, pained voice in the bare verses and saving the tasty embellishments for the uplifting chorus, as on Breakfast, where she ­expresses the hopeful intention that “maybe we’ll make it to breakfast”.

Despite the potential for lots of food-metaphor suggestiveness, the singer who once claimed “my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard” keeps it classy, restrained and inherently sexy on sultry slow jam Floyd, with its understated organ and ­satisfying blend of twinkling tenor and sustained baritone brass.

The single Jerk Ribs is even tastier with its soulful melody wedded to a fiendish snaking bassline and Afrobeat horns. These guys sure know how to blend their ingredients.

Then just when you think you have the measure of Food’s flavours, the mood changes in the middle with a lovely cover of Labi Siffre’s Bless The Telephone which stays true to the simple spirit of the original with undulating acoustic guitar and Kelis’s warm delivery of the lyrics.

  • 1. Breakfast
    2. Jerk Ribs
    3. Forever Be
    4. Floyd
    5. Runnin'
    6. Hooch
    7. Cobbler
    8. Bless the Telephone
    9. Friday Fish Fry
    10. Change
    11. Rumble
    12. Biscuits n' Gravy
    13. Dreamer

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