Music » Livewire

R. Kelly

With Sunshine Anderson and Syleena Johnson. Wednesday, August 15, at the State Theatre.


The most moving song on, the latest album from R. Kelly, is "I Wish," yet another elegy to a dead homey that Kelly manages to make real through a series of personal recollections and a climactic gospel choir. Yet the album's most enticing track is "A Woman's Threat," in which our masculine hero takes on the role of a scorned female. By playing the dumped-on half of a duo for a change, Kelly transports his usually static writing to an entirely new realm. Indeed, is the 32-year-old loverman's most dynamic album, occasionally moving out of the bedroom and into the real world. There are still plenty of odes to the ol' bump 'n' grind that's paid his bills for most of the past decade, but "I Wish" and "A Woman's Threat" at least show that his mind, as well as other more concrete body parts, isn't always on a woman's body. The dude's also pretty prolific and is a highly coveted producer, soundtrack contributor, and duet partner. He's essentially a one-man band in the studio, and he's kept the New Jack sound alive years after it lost its relevance. Kelly is winding down a 27-date Stateside tour behind before heading to Europe next month, where he'll eventually wrap things up with a show in Paris. Quite appropriate, too, since we hear the French are into stuff like "Sex Me" and "Your Body's Callin'."

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