R. Kelly
Write Me Back


3.5
great

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
June 29th, 2012 | 27 replies | 7,955 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Love is you and me, together, for eternity

It's a little strange that I'm sitting here thinking of ways to discuss the creative merits of an R. Kelly record - the very same eccentric character that announced a revival of the (at its best) ridiculous, 22-episode saga of "Trapped in the Closet" back in March. Easily the online meme of the mid 2000s, I remember watching each episode at least a dozen times in just as many liquor/etc-laden dorm rooms (as well as the obligatory follow-on South Park spoof). Along with most of my generation, I had written off Kelly completely for having gone so far off the deep end that it was truly sad the film budget was $3M (especially coupled with his various questionable legal and moral infractions). Nonetheless, Love Letter came in late 2010 (just in time to miss most publications' year-end listing craze) and offered a surprisingly opposite shift in direction versus the thoughtless, mainstream shit sandwiches of TP.3 Reloaded, Double Up, and Untitled with a thoughtful homage to soul classics.

As the name suggests, Write Me Back is a continuation of this idea and is more of the same well-done R&B forefather impressions. "Love Is" kicks off the record with an obvious tipped hat at Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe", but there isn't one strict era Kelly lingers in - late 60s soul-worship a-la Raphael Saadiq, Motown-inflected disco, funk, Michael Jackson (yes, the genre of), and even 90s contemporary. Lyrically, Kelly tries to stay within the confines of the era's subject matter - still somewhat sex-crazed, but restrained and largely converted to sincere musings about love and relationships. What makes Write Me Back more interesting than merely reverie comes in the form of tracks like "Believe That It's So", where Kelly combines several of the styles he's emulating together. The beat naturally shifts from classic motown to funk, then layering a modern synth driven closing refrain to a place we've all been - "One more shot for sure, then I'm all up on the floor / But there's one thing that I know / I had a little too much to drink". It's the subtle production flourishes here or on epic slow-jam "Believe In Me" where the songwriting rises above his previous offerings.

Sure, we all may have that friend that had a friend that was an intern at Kelly's production studio - replete with stories of Kelly's varied idiosyncrasies involving urine storage and polyamory (maybe not all of us). But maybe middle-age (he's 45, seriously) has tamed the lust demons within. The duology of Love Letter and Write Me Back has been his most soulful and inspired work since Chocolate Factory; hopefully next time around Kelly can expand on the moments that make them unique.



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Feels
June 28th 2012



247 Comments


wtb next hip-hopera... not

Digging: Lo-Ruhamah - The Glory of God

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 28th 2012



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

had a little too much to drink / forgot to upload the correct album art format :[

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins®

GhettoHmbrglr
June 28th 2012



531 Comments


Haters wanna hate, Lovers wanna love, I don't even want, None of the above, I want to piss on you. Yes I do, I'll piss on you, I'll pee on you.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 28th 2012



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

drip drip drip

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2012



30300 Comments


5. Clipped Wings


So, no more believeing he can fly then?

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 28th 2012



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

buddoom chick

AsoTamaki
June 29th 2012



2525 Comments


Lol, that was pretty funny.

Album is boringly pleasant. An enjoyable listen, but nothing stands out above the stuff he's emulating. Oh well. Nice review.

gabethepiratesquid
June 29th 2012



4521 Comments


"besides the trapped in the closet episodes fuck r. kelly."

...u dumb?
no really tho

R. Kelly completely revolutionized R&B

also haven't listened to this but I might.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 29th 2012



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's solid. this and love letter... that one might be better slightly

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2012



10003 Comments


pretty long review sobhi you slippin

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 29th 2012



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

too much background info on my uninteresting trapped in the closet experiences

Calculate
June 29th 2012



1135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love letter was amazing so im excited to hear this

eleventhsun
June 29th 2012



1475 Comments


R. Kelly completely revolutionized getting away with fucking an underage girl on tape (2) and peeing on her.

Fuck R.Kelly.

gabethepiratesquid
June 29th 2012



4521 Comments


"*R. Kelly completely revolutionized getting away with fucking an underaged girl on tape."

yeah we should chastise every touring musician who's had sex with a girl under 18
wait.

eleventhsun
June 29th 2012



1475 Comments


Do you have the video evidence of these events? If so then sure, chastise the shit out of them.

I forgot touring musicians are allowed to engage in that sort of thing.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 29th 2012



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah so statutory rape is not cool, but this album is!

gabethepiratesquid
June 29th 2012



4521 Comments


I've been uh...statutory raped(?) many times and I very much disagree on its lack of coolness.

eleventhsun
June 29th 2012



1475 Comments


^ lol

Touche

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 29th 2012



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm sure plenty of teenagers have had lasting serious psychological effects as well. What I'm trying to say is that I dont give a shit about R Kelly's morals / personal behavior in with respect to my opinion on his music.

dawija1017
June 30th 2012



486 Comments


i just wanna SHARE MY URINE...ohhhhooooOOOHHHH i just wanna SHARE MY URINE



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