KELIS Tasty (Star Track) Rating: NNN
Before they turned Justin Timberlake into a soul-pop icon and hawked their beats to anyone with $150,000 to spare, the Neptunes road-tested their now trademark stutter sound on Kelis. Her Wanderland album contained some of the production crew's most experimental beats, but her label refused to release it in America. Tasty picks up where that lost record left off, streamlining some of the herky-jerky sounds but largely leaving her potty-mouthed cooing and slurred rhymes intact. It's dirty, deranged and generally unhinged, but also a pleasantly unsettling change from the robotic sameness of most big-budget R&B.