is not the R. Kelly
album for those who love the singer for his freaky ways, his wince/chuckle-inducing lyrics. Apart from one line in “Lost in Your Love” -- specifically “I wanna make love in Braille, while I’m feelin’ on you” -- and perhaps “Taxi Cab,” Kelly
’s tenth studio album is tame by his standard. It’s easily the least sexually charged album in his discography, ideal for those who admire him as a singer, arranger, and producer but tune out the fantastical come-ons. Packaged like a classic ‘60s album, a handful of songs are clearly designed to evoke the sound of that era; the pleading “Radio Message” and “When a Woman Loves,” as well as the pained “How Do I Tell Her?” and the bouncing “Love Is” (featuring K. Michelle
), are too well-crafted and convincingly delivered to be heard as mere genre exercises. A handful of other highlights, with their lingering melodies, fluid basslines, and delicate flourishes, radiate warmth and recall late-‘70s and early-‘80s soft soul. Otherwise, on the likes of the steady-rocking “Number One Hit,” the sweet title song, and the lighthearted “A Love Letter Christmas,” Kelly
is in contemporary mode but continues to keep it classy. A faithful cover of Michael Jackson
's “You Are Not Alone,” an unlisted bonus track, closes it out.