Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Vocal Lounge: Write Me Back Review

Let’s get this out of the way… if you loved R. Kelly’s song "Step in the Name of Love," then you’re absolutely going to love the new album "Write Me Back." The album opens up with a stylish Motown vibe that only Kellz can pull off. It’s chockfull of feel good music peppered with the lively sounds of instruments such as strings, keys, and trumpets. The opening songs are filled with simplicity in terms of lyrics, while the rhythmic beats ring with a nostalgic vibe. With “Write Me Back,” R. Kelly proves that he is not only one of the best vocalists in our industry, but he is one of the most creative musical geniuses of our time.

I love the ballsy presentation this album offers. It’s like the album is defiantly telling the industry: “Keep trying to chase trends. I'm gonna stay on the road I created. I create trends.” The album is like a love letter to 70's and 80's Motown RnB; showing his love and appreciation for it. It also has its fair share of modern style RnB.  I can hear the love and fun that went into the creation of this album.

“Write Me Back” is like soul food; a soup made with the right ingredients of instruments, jazz, blues, and modern RnB (e.g., “Believe in Me” and “Fallin’ From the Sky”) that just hits the spot. Songs like “Beautiful in this Mirror” and “Green Light” show R’s tried and true vocal skill and emotion while songs like the powerhouse, old-school style ballad “One Step Closer” show the type of RnB we know and expect from R. Kelly. The song “You are my World” just screams Michael Jackson; almost like paying homage to the greatest entertainer in the world. Perhaps the song was originally written for Michael but he was never able to record it? At any rate, I love the song and see it as a nice tribute.

Picture this: the RnB industry is in dire need of resuscitation. Since the internet’s inception, RnB has somehow lost its identity. Like a child lost in some new found land, it does not know where it stands. It needs love and soul injected into it. Well, this album is like a blood transfusion that mixes the blood of Marvin Gaye, Donnie Hathaway, Al Green, Smokie Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and other RnB greats; one of which is this dude named Robert Kelly.

It makes me wonder if something like this could sell in today's unstable music market. It really depends on us if we support it. I tell you, I love it. I highly recommend it.

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