Two versions of the same dance track, “They Say,” surfaced this week, one recorded by house music aficionado Kelis and the other by Chris Brown. Kelis (who showed up to the Data Awards last night looking like something out of Fantasia) was the first to record a demo of the song, but it ultimately ended up going to Brown as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of Graffiti. Should Kelis have hung onto “They Say,” or did Chris earn it by recording a superior version? Listen to both versions after the jump and decide for yourself:
Chris Brown – “They Say” (Japanese Bonus Track on Graffiti)
“They Say” is an unexpectedly gentle song and Chris’ vocals aren’t half bad. It’s no wonder it was only considered a bonus track, though, since it really doesn’t fit in with the rest of Brown’s R&B-centric album. Take a listen to how Kelis brings out her husky lower register in her version. (There seems to be some confusion whether Jean Baptiste or Kid Cudi produced the track, but there’s no official word one way or the other.)
Kelis – “They Say” (demo)
As with the competing Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga’s takes on “Fever,” there aren’t many obvious differences between the two versions of the song, besides some rap-singing in the background by Baptiste on Kelis’ take. However, we’re on Team Kelis for this one, simply because “They Say” better suits the vibe of her upcoming electro-dance Flesh Tones than it does Chris Brown’s (would-be) club-pleaser album. And now that we’ve heard (and enjoyed) Kelis’ rendering, it’s exclusion from Flesh Tones is disappointing.
Can’t make up your mind? Well, no sweat—somebody mixed both tracks together to create one super track, featuring both Chris Brown and Kelis. Now you don’t have to pick sides. Whew!
Kelis and Chris Brown – “They Say”