04:00PM ET December 17th, 2010
Contributor: Jecquea Howsie
A Rocky Williform Company
The 60s soul of Motown and Stax/Volt comes to mind as R. Kelly’s new album blasts out of the stereo. In an industry were dancing outweighs true vocal ability; Robert Kelly manages to claim his rightful place at the top of the pile.
Love Letter is his earnest attempt to connect the fans that love his bump n’ grind music with the tracks he grew up on; as the sounds of Ottis Redding and Sam Cooke penetrate the album from start to finish, the “King of R&B” fuses modern musicality with the mature sexiness of Marvin Gaye.
A hilarious ode to everyone that doubted him, or seemingly bought bootleg copies of his previous work, Kelly offers the prelude to the album by welcoming the ladies to what he likes to call the “love letter hour”. Continuing in the tradition, “Love Letter” proves that regardless of how distant the love between you and your mate is, unconditional love has no limits, it’s merely a phone call, email, or letter away.
His “Number One Hit” is distinctively Sade, riding smooth over the beat and delivering lines like, “I love making love to your eyes/It’s like singing in the perfect key,” will have listeners hitting repeat. Kelly teases fans by offering sophisticated baby making music with “Lost in Your Love” and pleads for his baby to come back to him on “Radio Message”.
Although one of the most heartfelt and honest tributes on the album is his chart-topping single “When a Woman Loves”, Kelly still manages to bring the Motown beat with “Love Is”, a duet with K. Michelle; rounding out the album with future soul classics including: “Just Can’t Get Enough”, “Music Must Be a Lady” and “How Do I Tell Her”, the former panty dropping king of the ‘90s ushers in timeless material worthy of a standing ovation.