Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

R. Kelly: Double Up [Jive, 2007]
This album marks the moments when pop's longest running alleged felon came to release more music after being hit with child pornography charges in 2002 than he did in a decade-plus of untroubled r&b thuggery. Pre-indictment, Kelly's m.o. was to undercut much "Bump 'n' Grind" with a little "I Believe I Can Fly," but now he's added a new trick--not confessions, though the term is tempting, but dramatic pieces like the ridiculously mesmerizing "Trapped in the Closet." This album piles on the bump 'n' grind, from a title track in which Kelly and Snoop share two freaks apiece to the "sexasauras," kangaroos, and jungle noises of the ridiculously sublime "The Zoo." But the standout tracks are a dialogue in a prison visiting room, a duet where he and Usher figure out they're both in love with the same Georgia Tech grad, and the escalating rage of a break-up phone call. "Real Talk," that one's called--which sure beats sexual exploitation as an artistic specialty. [Rolling Stone: 3]
"Best Friend," "Real Talk," "The Zoo," "Same Girl" Choice Cuts