Monday, June 25, 2012

The Boston Globe: Write Me Back Review

R. Kelly follows “Love Letter,” his stellar throwback R&B album from 2010, with an elastic, tuneful sequel. At this point, he has mastered the classic form so completely that he makes it sound easy. Of course, it’s not; otherwise, the charts would be overflowing with supremely crafted soul like “Share My Love.” There is nothing as memorable as “When a Woman Loves” from “Letter.” Its companion, “When a Man Lies,” strives to dole out wisdom, but it feels bloodless. There are numerous musical quotes to vintage R&B and rock tracks. “All Rounds on Me” should have a footnote to “Shake, Rattle and Roll.” “Fool for You” evokes vintage Motown, and while it might be dismissed as a genre exercise, there’s no denying its effectiveness. Those yearning for the more lascivious Kelly will have to sit tight for the long-rumored “Black Panties” album. Instead, he delivers deceptively subtle music that retains all of the singer’s seductive charms and inimitable style. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “Share My Love”

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