BOTTOM LINE: Sexing up R&B once again
No one writes pop songs about sex better than R. Kelly. Maybe practice really does make perfect.
Like most of his albums, nearly all of Kells' latest "Untitled" (Jive) is about sex, either having it or pursuing it, though he does try to mix things up so we don't get bored.
"Girl, you make me want to get you pregnant," he sings in the six-minute rambling epic "Pregnant." "There's something 'church' about you," he offers in "Religious." "I'll make sure you won't regret what you and me did in this bed," he promises in "Bangin' the Headboard." Well, OK, then.
Truth be told, when Kelly is at his best, as he is on the irresistible, corrupting-influence pop of "Ignition" and "I'm a Flirt," he's basically unstoppable. The soon-to-be-smash "Number One" with Keri Hilson falls into that category, using songwriting as his latest metaphor, even spelling it out, this time, singing, "Having sex with you is like making hits . . . I'm in your mix like a No. 1 record." The pretty, yodel-infused "Echo" is almost just as unshakable, the kind of ballad Celine Dion might sing if she had a dirty mind.
The album's only weaknesses come when Kelly drifts off into the hyper-wordy style of his "Trapped in the Closet" series, as he does on "Pregnant" and "Text Me," where he sounds like he's singing whatever pops into his head, which, you guessed it, is generally about sex.