Tuesday, May 29, 2007

nu musik: R. Kelly

"My mind is telling me no / But my body is telling me yeah"

The songs on R. Kelly's new album Double Up (out today) can be broken down into the following categories:

songs about clubbin': 9
songs about b*tches trippin': 3
songs about boning: 5
*many tracks contain more than one of the above

Record labels will always tell artists when they want more material (aka we don't like what you've given us). Labels will rarely tell artists to cut their albums. This is apparant on Double Up, an album that with five less tracks, could have been the R&B album of the year. Instead it seems it might be remembered for its sporatic outrageousness.

A handful of tracks, most on the later part of the album, are simply weak. Even though Kels sounds great, as on Making a Baby, the subject matter and method of execution make the track awkward. Sex Planet, a five and a half minute extended metaphor between the universe and boning, uses creative lines and pasionate vocals, but can we really take him seriously when he says: "Girl I promise this will be painless / We'll take a trip to planet uranus"? This approach actually works to his advantage on tracks like The Zoo (listed below), a three and a half minute extended metaphor between the jungle and boning that leaves you singing "ooh ooh ooh ooh ah ah ah ah."

Overall Double Up has some fantastic tracks. Those of you who loved I'm a Flirt will not be dissapointed by the similar selection of minimal hooks and soulfull vocal verses (see Freaky in the Club, Double Up, below). Some guest tracks work: Get Dirty (ft/ Chingy), Same Girl (ft/ Usher). Others don't: Tryin' to Get a Number (ft. Nelly); Kels sounds dumb trying to rap like Nelly.

Often times Kels hints his exuberance is merely a form of rebellion. On the impressive yet uneccesaary rant track, Real Talk, Kels gives the audience more drama ala Trapped in the Closet but with subject matter tailored more to everyday activities: Kels at the club drinking Patron with the b*tches. "The only thing I'm trying to establish with you isn't who's right and who's wrong, but what's right and what's wrong." Just because Kels is trying to have a good time, doesn't mean he doesn't love you.

R. Kelly - Double Up (ft/ Snoop Dogg)
R. Kelly - Freaky in the Club
R. Kelly - The Zoo

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