Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

R. Kelly 

Double Up (Jive)

896072.0.jpeg
The most perverse moment on R. Kelly's new album is, surprisingly, neither "The Zoo" -- a slow-jam full of animal noises that suggests he and his lady had some company in the sack -- nor "Sex Planet," which offers a particularly unfortunate metaphor for back-door action. It's "Rise Up," the product of Kelly's belief that he could -- just days after the Virginia Tech massacre -- help the healing process by penning a carbon copy of "I Believe I Can Fly." The result is a limp, quasi-gospel tribute to the victims' families that needs tragedy to invest its clichés with any sense of meaning.

However, if you can overlook the disturbing sexscapades of a guy who still faces child pornography charges -- as well as Kelly's tasteless tribute -- there are some worthwhile moments here. "Same Girl," his long-awaited duet with Usher, is an understated, funny, and hugely successful variation on "The Girl Is Mine."

Sure, the decision to focus on the clubs instead of the boudoir -- as exemplified by tracks like the defiant dance anthem "Rollin'" -- may alienate some fans, but anyone who's stuck with Kelly through his more serious travails can also make it through the overall disappointment that is Double Up.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of CD Review

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays