♫ R. Kelly – Number One Hit
As the year 2010 comes to a close, R&B crooner R. Kelly is officially making his return to the music scene with his 10th studio album, Love Letter. Following his refreshing performance on the Soul Train Awards last month, the music veteran has made it clear that his forthcoming album will be nothing like your typical, modern-day “R&B” album, filled with heavily synthesized pop and hip-hop sound influences. As a matter of fact, this album slightly shows influence from either music genre.
Before hitting play, one can’t help but be curious about what the album has in store. The cover alone foreshadows some kind of old-school project, as Kelly from the times of singer Ray Charles. Nonetheless, the album kicks off with a very candid, yet soothing prelude to his single “Love Letter”, as he briefly addresses and dedicates his album to his devoted supporters as well as his nay-saying haters.
♫ R. Kelly – Just Can’t Get Enough
A few tracks later, Kelly slows it down a bit with his track, “Number One Hit”, a soulful, genuine mid-tempo track, carried by soothing strings weaving through each verse and chorus, jazzy piano keys, guitar licks, top off with a bit of flirting from the flute and horn section. One can’t help but think of one’s number one or significant other, as he lyrically describes and compares his leading lady to a chart-topping hit song. The album continues to touch on the realities of love and the inevitable ups and downs of a relationship. Kelly definitely brings us all back down to the reality of love with slow-tempos like “Not Feelin’ The Love” and “How Do I Tell Her”.
♫ R. Kelly – Taxi Cab
As the album progresses, one can tell which songs were inspired by monumental artists of music’s past. R. Kelly brings it with a Marvin Gaye influenced track entitled “Just Can’t Get Enough”. This slow song makes you want to grab your lover and just two-step through the night. On the other hand, Kelly gives us a bit of Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana” in his track, “Taxi Cab”, a song about a random, one-night stand with a woman he barely knows, but can’t get off his mind.
♫ R. Kelly – Love Is (feat K. Michelle)
Over all, this album is pretty solid. As a matter of fact this album reminded me very much of one of his previous albums, Chocolate Factory. Nonetheless, Love Letter definitely proves that R&B is still ailve and well and can truly stand on it’s own without the need to have a redevouz with hip-hop and pop. Despite R. Kelly’s personal trials and tribulations over the years, one cannot deny the talent and creativity of this man. If you grew up listening to the likes of Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Tammi Terrell, Ray Charles or any artists, beginning from the 60s, then go on out and grab this album. If you want timeless, feel good, love music, then this album is for you.