On "Love Letter," his 2010 album of Motown retreads, R. Kelly revisited the safe '60s and restrained his inner freak. It sorta worked, but it felt very much like a costume. The follow-up in this kinder, gentler phase of his infamy is rooted in '70s soul -- far more Philly than the Chicago native's South Side -- and is a much more natural fit for Kelly's considerable vocal gifts and lusty one-track mind.
It's all so respectable and ... normal, but have no fear. More episodes of "Trapped in the Closet" have been announced, Kelly's ex-wife is on a new reality show debuting Wednesday, and his memoir is due this week, too (as well as numerous appearances this week). Plenty of freaky-deaky details still to come.
And if he's moving through the decades, that means the "Superfreak"-inspired '80s album is next.