Untitled Over the course of 10 supremely libidinous albums, R&B's self- proclaimed sexasaurus has endlessly explored the hows, whens, and whoas of his bedroom theater, leaving… Untitled Over the course of 10 supremely libidinous albums, R&B's self- proclaimed sexasaurus has endlessly explored the hows, whens, and whoas of his bedroom theater, leaving… 2009-12-01 R. Kelly R&B
Music Review

Untitled (2009)

R. Kelly, Untitled | CLOSE YOUR EYES, SHOW ME YOUR FACE R. Kelly
Image credit: Anthony Mandler
CLOSE YOUR EYES, SHOW ME YOUR FACE R. Kelly
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Release Date: Dec 01, 2009; Lead Performance: R. Kelly; Genre: R&B

Over the course of 10 supremely libidinous albums, R&B's self-
proclaimed sexasaurus has endlessly explored the hows, whens, and whoas of his bedroom theater, leaving no satin pillow unturned. (In real life, he was acquitted of child-pornography charges last year after a lengthy court case.) That singular focus has yielded a string of undeniable jams, from 1995's ''Bump 'n Grind'' to 2003's ''Ignition.'' It's also defined him as an artist who seldom ventures beyond carnal come-ons, with the occasional corrective blast of holy-rolling inspirational balladry (see 1996 smash ''I Believe I Can Fly'' and the bizarro-world Celine Dion duet ''I'm Your Angel'').

Untitled's titles — ''Pregnant,'' ''Whole Lotta Kisses,'' and (yes) ''Bangin' the Headboard'' — don't do much to flip the script, or even write a new page. It's not entirely clear what level of parody and self-awareness the man behind the gloriously absurd 2005 hip-hopera ''Trapped in the Closet'' is operating on these days; the disconsolate ballad ''Elsewhere'' seems to signal a chastened man, but tracks like ''Number One,'' featuring Keri Hilson, and ''Text Me'' revel in sex as Olympic sport. (The oft-neglected art of yodeling does get an unexpected boost on the butterscotch seduction "Echo.") Kelly fares better when he steps up the tempo, as on new-jack stomper ''Supaman High,'' Usheresque 
 club rave-up ''I Love the DJ,'' and disco-boogie squiggle ''Be My #2,'' even if 
 none feel exactly organic to his style. 
 You can take the man out of the boudoir, but you'll have to drag him. C+

Download This: Listen to the song Be My #2

See all of this week's reviews

Originally posted Nov 24, 2009 Published in issue #1078 Dec 04, 2009 Order article reprints
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