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Album review: Kid Sister's 'Ultraviolet'

November 16, 2009 |  6:05 pm
Kid_sister_240- Chicago's hip-hop newcomer Kid Sister likes to talk up her girl-next-door appeal in interviews. While it's a safe bet that your neighbor isn't pals with Kanye West -- his DJ A-trak is Kid Sister's go-to producer -- "Ultraviolet" is brimming with the artist's down-to-earth candidness.

A two-time veteran of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Kid Sister's long-awaited debut is, first and foremost, an upbeat and futuristic club record. It also showcases her Midwestern work ethic and sense of humor. Over the ambient, Tangerine Dream-sampling "Let Me Bang," she's doing her laundry before hitting the dance floor, where she declares that she likes "to do it nice and slow." But don't get any ideas. "By that I mean my flow," she clarifies.

Influenced by the fast beats and electronic soul of Chicago house music, "Ultraviolet" owns a roll-up-your-sleeves form of empowerment, where respect is earned rather than awarded on sex appeal. The zippy effects on "Pro Nails" capture the anticipation of a deserved night out, and on the snappy "Step" she's laughing at her drink-buying suitors, wondering, "How far anybody really made it with a sex up on the beach?"

With Southern soul rapper Cee-Lo at her side on "Daydreaming," she escapes into a psychedelic, synthesized orchestra. "I want to let you know the meaning of forever," she formidably sings. By that point, it's hard to imagine anyone telling her no.

-- Todd Martens

Kid Sister
Downtown Music
Three and a half stars (Out of four)