R. Kelly at the Orpheum 

From the beginning, R. Kelly's music has always been informed in part by the classic '60s and '70s Northern soul sounds of Motown, Philly, and Kelly's own underrated-in-soul-terms Chicago home. But this year's Write Me Back, Kelly's 14th album, is, along with the 2010 companion Love Letter, his most flagrantly retro move yet. And it's a testament to Kelly's deep musicality that these albums feel far less forced than pretty much any other of the many mainstream R&B look-backs in recent years.

Kelly, who may well be a bit of a creep in real life, has always had an undercurrent of weirdness to him. Following his legal troubles earlier this decade, he exploited that element a bit too much, resulting in the epic and tedious "Trapped in the Closet" series, a bit of too-willful weirdness that proved especially titillating to curiosity seekers outside the normal R&B audience. But Kelly has thankfully gotten past that and is back to pursuing beauty and groove with the insistence and seeming ease that marked his classic singles "Step in the Name of Love" and "Happy People."

R. Kelly brings his "Single Ladies" tour to the Orpheum theater on Tuesday, October 23rd, with opener Tamia. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Chris Herrington

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Music Blog

Jose Feliciano Plays Unannounced Memphis Gig

Hungry Memphis

Welcome back, Restaurant Iris!

Music Blog

Gillian Welch Wows GPAC

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Alpha

Intermission Impossible

In Praise of "Love and Murder" at Playhouse on the Square

News Blog

MATA Looks to Hire More Trolley Operators

Music Blog

Listen Up: Cruelty of the Heavens

News Blog

VIDEO: SUV Driver Swerves Into Cyclists

Intermission Impossible

Ostranders to Honor Memphis Performers Who Died During 2017-18 Season

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation