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R. Kelly 

Untitled (Jive)

R. Kelly's greatest asset has always been his ability to sound casually absurd. But the songs on Untitled lack imagination. The one exception is "Echo," where Kelly brings his lover to increasingly ludicrous heights of sexual ecstasy---then yodels. It easily stands with his best (and silliest) work, but it's a lone oasis in a desert of piddling attempts at genre-hopping and paint-by-numbers R&B. You'd have to be really thick to criticize an R. Kelly album for having too many sex jams. But without his trademark lunacy, your boy Kells just sounds like a middle-aged lech, ogling young girls from behind a park bench.

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