Let’s face it, R. Kelly is clinically insane. Not a crazy genius like Prince but they shouldn’t be let out in the general population crazy like Britney Spears. He has gotten to a point where nothing he does anymore raises an eyebrow, it is just Kells being Kells. Yodeling? Okay. A hip hop opera in twenty-two parts? Alrighty. A song with Celine Dion? Sure, why not. So an album of Motown and Philly Soul inspired songs may be the least surprising thing R. Kelly has ever done.
And guess what, Love Letter, filled entirely with old school RnB tracks is R. Kelly’s best album in over a decade. But it wouldn’t be an R. Kelly joint without some eccentricities. Where saner artist may have spoken the intro to the album shouting out bootleggers and future baby mommas, or just resigned it to the liner notes, of course Kells goes up and down the scales to sing, accentuating every syllable, even where there aren’t real syllables to be found. And there are not one, but three title tracks, the Love Letter Prelude, the straight forward Love Letter, and the holiday themed Love Letter Christmas where Kells adds a verse about being a snowman, a spoken word breakdown, and what Christmas song would be complete without a cowbell.
With most songs throwing back to a time past, Kelly goes all out, not holding anything back on his vocal, singing to the point where his voice almost breaks. He brings in K. Michelle to be his own personal Tammi Terrell on Love Is. Surprisingly on this old school album, the best track is the one that sounds most modern. Taxi Cab is classic R. Kelly with him sings about getting down with a lyrical version of Taxi Cab Confessions. Complete with bongos that picks up more instruments as it goes along including a stirring guitar, Taxi Cab it ranks as near the top of Kelly’s best songs of his career.
So congratulations on your best album is a while Kells. Now how about a couple more chapters of Trapped in the Closet? I have been waiting three long years to find out what “The Package” is.
Song to Download – Taxi Cab
Love Letter gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.