ALBUM REVIEW: R Kelly – Black Panties

Music Reviews

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“I just wanna marry the pussy,” Kelly proclaims, and I believe him. This album is a return to the great R Kelly I know and love, sexually explicit with the smoothest tones. I’d like to think that when R Kelly has sex – an event, which I imagine, happens on a half-hourly basis – he listens to his own music. But the instrumental track, whilst he sings and narrates the occasion. The opening track Legs Shakin is a how to guide on fellatio and Kelly is clearly the master-‘”Feelin like we’re on a movie set, can you feel the vibrations? My tongue just like a jacuzzi jet.”

Musically, it’s really good. The production is very late 90s, early 00s Dark Child/Timberland-esque. It’s minimal. There is a lot of space on the album. It’s a refreshing break from the snare happy trap beats filling R’n’B at the moment. On Throw This Money On You the chorus floats with the least amount on drums possible as is therefore driven by R Kelly soulful voice.

It’s Kelly’s voice and its partnership with the production that drives the album. It’s a wonderfully melodic piece of vocal work.

Now, concerning the lyrics, they’re ridiculous, to the point where they are in fact quite funny. Again in Throw This Money On You he provides us with a real gem: “Damn girl, you’re my type girl, ass full like it’s been stung by the whole hive, girl.”

I don’t think anyone else in his crazy world has quite the same way with words Kelly does. At least I hope so. I’m not sure anyone else would be able to get away with it.

Kelly seems to be defiant on this album. Tracks like Right Back and My Story have a reflective tone to them as they speak about past issues and some of the more testing moments in Kelly’s life. Kelly recently underwent surgery on his throat and a lot of people came out and said that his would suffer as a result. It hasn’t. He still has the best male voice in R’n’B and shows this off on an album which he described as ‘Kellz Music’.

Whether you think this album is overly crude or not (and admittedly some of it will make you clench uncomfortably). This passion project is really good, the production is streets ahead and his voice still leads the genre. So leave your prejudice at the door and climb out of whatever shitty guitar driven band you’re currently burrowed within and listen to something that should make you pine for the return of the R Kelly who made Same Girl and the Usher who made Confessions Part II.

Tom Bacon

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