I have been a huge fan of R Kelly since the 1998 double disc release "R" which featured several huge hits and was really the album that made him a real star. He has released a total of eleven studio albums, many of them have been double disc releases too. R Kelly has also produced and written for some of the biggest Music stars, most notably Michael Jackson on the likes of "You are not alone" and "Cry". His style is so recognisable that you can often tell that he either produced or wrote the song and one of the most stark examples of that is on the Joe song "More and More". Anyway enough about that and more about R Kelly as an artist.
**Write Me Back**
This is the eleventh studio album from R Kelly and was released on 25th June 2012. Write Me Back received generally positive reviews from music critics. The album features twelve tracks with R Kelly writing or co writing all twelve songs on the album. He also produced the album with additional production from Bigg Makk, J. LBS & Warryn Campbell. The album brings influences from the 70s Soul records like his previous album "Love Letter" did but like that album he also brings his own modern twist to it. The album is rare in R Kelly releases as it doesn't feature any collaborations.
NOTE: I am reviewing the deluxe version of the album which features four extra tracks.
1.) Love Is
This is an ideal opener, It is about what love is and what love means to you. It's a catchy track which reminds me of his "Happy People" disc for it's soulful dance-able feel. It's a flowing track which features some nice subtle piano and some nice flowing strings in the background. It has a rather nice feel which relaxes you into the album. R Kelly's voice is on form and his vocals develop throughout the track with some excellent powerful vocals which gradually build. A rather decent start.
2.) Feelin' Single
This track is about when you split up with someone and go out as single when you are on a break. It has a catchy feel and some nice strings. I like the way the song develops and the vocals become louder and stronger until he really showcases his strong vocal ability. This is a decent uptempo track which is a contender for best uptempo one on the album. Good stuff.
3.) Lady Sunday
This track is that woman who means something special to you. It's another catchy feel with some nice keys and strings with a nice beat and percussion. R Kelly's vocals are on fine form here with some laid back and expressive vocals. It's a lovely song with a chilled feel good vibe. I like the way the song develops and is one of the best of the more uptempo tracks on the album.
4.) When A Man Lies
This track is about when you are untruthful with someone you love. It is a very strong track which has a lovely flow with some excellent vocals. The song is about when a Man lies to their partner and they regret it for how it has affected the relationship. It has a good message about how lies can affect a relationship and the best thing is to be truthful with your feelings towards your partner. I love the way the song develops and R Kelly's vocals are particularly good.
5.) Clipped Wings
This is about an awkward situation in a relationship where the woman is more in love with her man than he is with her. A very relatable situation. It's the first real ballad on the album and is a lovely song with a heavy beat and some gentle piano. It's vintage R Kelly as he signs about about a relationship where he is very fond of the woman but she is more heavily into him. This track really shows the fine way that R Kelly emotes and structures a song. It's a beautiful moment on the album which features the perfect musical backing. Great stuff.
6.) Believe That It's So
This is a lovely mid tempo track which again has elements of his previous work. It's a relaxed ballad about maintaining your love for someone. I like the way the song develops and moves along. It's not as instant or maybe as exciting as some of the other tracks on the album but is still a very nice song which certainly has a lot going for it vocally and lyrically and of course overall.
7.) Fool For You
This track has a lovely Smokey Robinson feel which again brings a 70s style influence to the album. It's a lovely soulful mid tempo track which has a catchy flow. You can hear the Smokey Robinson influence with the Musical backing and also the vocals are relaxed like Smokey's. It's an excellent song about when you fall for someone so much that you get sucked in.
8.) All Rounds On Me
This is a catchy up tempo track which has an excellent feel, It brings in old style elements with a modern sound. It has an excellent Rock & Roll feel with laid back vocals and some excellent guitar hooks. It is an excellent track which features some excellent guitar work as well as piano playing too. It's sound is excellent and I could imagine a band performing this at a Prom somewhere in America in the 60s. A great mix of styles that works terrifically well.
9.) Believe In Me
This track has a strong message about going away from your family and asking for your Family to believe in you and things will be good when you get back. It's one of the best tracks on the album and is an excellent developer. It could be a big hit with families with someone in the Military away in Iraq or Afghanistan. It's another one of R Kelly's inspiring tracks which has a strong message and is performed wonderfully well. the vocals towards the end show great power. Musically it has a little of a Beyonce feel to it.
10.) Green Light
This was from a song written a while ago for Ron Isley but it was only a verse or two, R Kelly completed the song after looking back at some of the songs he'd written. It is a lovely ballad about telling someone you are interested in them and want them to say how they feel about you. It's a smooth romantic track which R Kelly is so good at. It's one of the best tracks on the album.
11.) Party Jumpin'
This has a live Concert feel and is a feel good track which is one of the most uptempo tracks on the album. It features some excellent piano and guitar and the drums are fluid and catchy too. It's a simple yet effective song about having just having a good time on a night out, having a few drinks and being with company you enjoy. This is one of the best uptempo tracks on the album and is an ideal closer for a party. Great stuff.
12.) Share My Love
This is a lovely soulful mid tempo ballad which has a 70s feel which has elements of Barry White but more of Teddy Pendergrass. It's an excellent soulful track which has a nice flow which is catchy, the piano is a lovely part of the song as is the catchy feel. This song is about telling someone you love them and want to show them how much you love them and what you'll do for them if they gave you the chance. This is an excellent track.
I mentioned there were four bonus tracks on the album and here they are, They are all written by R Kelly and also produced by him too. So here are the tracks which feature on the deluxe edition of the album.
13.) Beautiful in the Mirror
This is a lovely track about telling someone you love that they're beautiful and reassuring them that they are the one for you. It has simple beats and a nice flow. It's an ideal song for the bedroom and is a nice addition to the album. Good stuff.
14.) You are my world
This is an excellent track which features some Michael Jackson like vocals from R Kelly which sound very convincing. I really like the way the song develops and the way that his vocals go from relaxed to powerful and back again with a seamless transition. It's an excellent bonus tracks which showcases the vocal talent of R Kelly. This tracks shows what a fine singer that R Kelly is. Superb vocals.
15.) Fallin from the sky
This is a beautiful track which features a catchy beat and some lovely keys, the vocals develop well and the song is soon in full flow. It's about when you are having troubles and need someone to help you get out of the problems. The vocals work well and the beats are of a more R&B feel than much of the album. It's another decent bonus track.
16.) One step closer
This track sounds like an already released R Kelly hit. It just has a lovely feel which features lovely story teller vocals from R Kelly. The track is about when you plan a romantic night in and plan to spend some special time together. This is R Kelly at his Love song best with some fine vocals and a lovely structure that really works well.
This is another very good album indeed from R Kelly, his legal issues have gone away and he has got back to making quality music which has a strong message about love, self confidence and relationships. He is one of the finest singers we have around today and on the evidence of his past two or three albums he has plenty of great material to look forward to in the future. At 45 he still has plenty of potential albums to record yet and shows no signs of quitting. His love for the music is clear and that is another reason to love his music. The passion he puts into it is quite clear. This album falls marginally short of his previous "Love Letter" but is still a damn fine album.