Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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***

R. KELLY
Double Up
Jive

Mr. Bump 'n' Grind takes you to the zoo, introduces you to a "sexasaurus"

Pop's longest-running alleged felon has now released more music since being hit with child-pornography charges in 2002 than he did in a decade-plus of untroubled R&B thuggery. Pre-indictment, Kelly's MO 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 "sexasaurus," 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 breakup phone call. "Real Talk," that last one's called -- which sure beats exploitative sex as an artistic specialty.

Rolling Stone, June 14, 2007