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Love Letter

R. Kelly: Love Letter

  • R. Kelly
  • R&B & Hip-Hop
  • Out now
  • Jive Records
  • Everywhere
reviewed by
Salma Tantawi
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R. Kelly: Love Letter

As one of the greatest R&B artists, both vocal and
arrangement-wise, R. Kelly has been in the business for almost twenty years
now; yet he manages to present a new flavour to his music with his latest album
Love Letter; incorporating classic soul influences and lyrics about
love and forgiveness.

It takes a true genius to blend different generations and genres
together to produce music that pays tribute to the classics without losing its
hip quality. Love Letter is
Kelly’s tenth studio album and proves that Kelly, despite his many
publicised scandals, still has a lot of talent. With him pleading love with deep
lyrics and symphonic intros, the listener is left with sweet, moving melodies.    

Lover Letter starts with a
prelude of the album title, which is basically a solo-sung introduction. It’s a nice gesture to slowly break the album to the audience, but it
doesn’t quite work; as the intro was clearly meant to be read out, not sung.

The main track ‘Love Letter’ features a catchy beat and
memorable lyrics, and so does the remix ‘A Love Letter Christmas’ with minor
lyrical changes. ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ is a smooth track clearly influenced by Marvin
Gaye’s trademark soul, and ‘When A Women Loves’ is an excellent symphonic ballad
filled with long and striking high notes – it was deservedly nominated for Best
Traditional R&B Vocal Performance at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.

Featuring the young and talented soul singer K. Michelle, the upbeat
‘Love Is’ makes the album seems like it has it all; although some may not
appreciate the overly repetitive lines in ‘Number One Hit.’

If it’s not the vocals that make the album worthy, then it sure is the
instruments. Real music with real acoustic instruments makes Love Letter a unique find among other synthesized
songs that lack genuine emotions. This album was also inspired by names like
Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, both of which left their marks on several
songs written by Kelly.

Love Letter is about pure love devoid of greed, selfishness or
materialism. As it happens, R. Kelly knows exactly how to get that message
across loud and clear with a bonus of dazzling vocals and backing
instruments.  

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