Album: R Kelly

R Kelly, TP3 Reloaded, JIVE
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"Sex in the morning/ Sex in the evening/ Sex in the noonday/ Even when we're sleeping." One could never accuse R Kelly of having more than a one-track mind. Even by the flesh-tastic standards of modern R&B, Kelly seems unusually infatuated with the ins and outs of intercourse: if he's not bothering his girlfriend in the kitchen ("Girl, I'm ready to toss your salad!"), then he's busy essaying some absurd new metaphor for sex, as in "Remote Control", where the TV handset is scoured for tenuous carnal analogies. One gets the distinct impression that the only reason Kelly bothers with the G-Funk duets with The Game and Snoop Dogg, on "Playas Only" and "Happy Summertime" respectively, is for the lascivious opportunities the form affords. He certainly has no natural affinity with gunplay. There's only one weapon Kelly's interested in, and it's priapically primed to the point of grim satiation. The main interest resides in "Trapped in the Closet", the 17-minute, five-episode "soap opera" which concludes the album. From the moment Kelly wakes up in an unfamiliar bed, to the point he returns home to find another man's condom in his own, the sequence employs a series of revelations to sketch a modern-day, urban version of La Ronde whose narrative momentum is the most pleasing aspect of the album.