R. Kelly, "Write Me Back" (RCA Records)

Dear R. Kelly,

You've gone and done it again. I don't know what's going on with two back-to-back, rather wholesome and anachronistic albums, but your eleventh "Write Me Back" feels like a breath of fresh air on the contemporary urban scene. You may be trying to subvert expectations of your chosen genre, you may be showing off your voice, maybe you are preaching a newfound understanding of relationships, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that you've single-handedly produced and written an album with a voice.

Mixing 1970s funk and soul, `50s beats, church organ sprinkles and `90s nostalgia R&B was an excellent idea. Those sounds, coupled with romantic lyrics, may sound like a cheesefest, but that's what makes the dish so delicious.

You start off with vivacious ode "Love Is" and meander through retro beats and ballads with a purposeful gait. Your only pit stops on the love highway are on the party dance floor with the engaging swing song "All Rounds On Me," and the lively "Party Jumpin'." "Believe That It's So" is the one tune on the record that wanders from the realm of personal into the club. This highly enjoyable dance romp is a testament to your enduring presence on the music scene. You know I'm a "Fool For You"; You've got the "Green Light" to move on to your next album in the knowledge you've nailed this one.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "Feeling Single" puts an imaginary cane, a fedora and tux on you, some smooth moves and pushes you right in that spotlight.

___

Cristina Jaleru covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her at http://www.twitter.com/cristinelle7

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lady-T-Teena-Marie/dp/B000008I4Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338828835&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Teena Marie - Lady T</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Love-Supreme-John-Coltrane/dp/B0000A118M/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338775688&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">John Coltrane - Love Supreme</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Takes-Nation-Millions-Public-Enemy/dp/B0000024K1/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338776852&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Hell-James-Brown/dp/B000001E77/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338764314&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">James Brown - Hell</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Thriller-Michael-Jackson/dp/B0000025RI/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338778178&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Michael Jackson - Thriller</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Paid-Full-Eric-B-Rakim/dp/B000005HSR/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338775186&sr=1-2" target="_hplink">Eric B & Rakim - Paid In Full</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Foxy-Brown-Original-Soundtrack-International/dp/B000001AAV/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338766366&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Willie Hutch - Foxy Brown</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Green-Is-Blues-Al/dp/B000087DSI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338761968&sr=8-1" target="_hplink">Al Green - Green Is Blues</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Criminal-Minded-Boogie-Down-Productions/dp/B000B8I8LO/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338775030&sr=1-3" target="_hplink">Boogie Down Productions - Criminal Minded</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Solid-Ashford-Simpson/dp/B001NE81AI/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338762405&sr=1-1-spell" target="_hplink">Asford & Simpson - Solid</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Visible-Silence-Art-Noise/dp/B000001NWQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338762266&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Art Of Noise - In Visible Silence</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Diana-Ross-Presents-Jackson-5/dp/B000001ACV/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338762797&sr=1-2" target="_hplink">Diana Ross Presents - The Jackson 5</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Long-Live-Kane-Big-Daddy/dp/B000002LEK/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338774777&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Big Daddy Kane - Long Live the Kane</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/DIANA-ROSS-SUPREMES-LOVE-CHILD/dp/B003TFSCH6/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338762575&sr=1-2" target="_hplink">Diana Ross & The Supremes - Love Child</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/My-Melody-Deniece-Williams/dp/B004LOCT50/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338762890&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Deniece Williams - My Melody</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Ahh-Name-Bootsy-Baby-Collins/dp/B000002KGK/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338763159&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Bootsy Collins - Ahh...The Name Is Bootsy Baby</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Original-Soundtrack-SPOOK-Herbie-Hancock/dp/B004P75X7Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338763238&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Herbie Hancock - The Spook Who Sat By The Door</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Home-Stephanie-Mills/dp/B000002O68/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338828903&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Stephanie Mills - Home</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Love-Deluxe-Sade/dp/B000051XXD/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338828660&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Sade - Love Deluxe</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Reasonable-Doubt-Jay-Z/dp/B00000HZG9/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338775430&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Janet-Jacksons-Rhythm-Nation-1814/dp/B000002GFN/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338828386&sr=8-1" target="_hplink">Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation 1814</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Funkadelic/dp/B000AXWV3G/ref=sr_1_4?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338763017&sr=1-4" target="_hplink">Funkadelic - Funkadelic</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Straight-Outta-Compton-N-W/dp/B00006JJ51/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338776028&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/People-Hold-Eddie-Kendricks/dp/B000008H9J/ref=sr_1_8?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338766629&sr=1-8" target="_hplink">Eddie Kendricks - People Hold On</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Doggystyle-Snoop-Doggy-Dogg/dp/B00005AQF7/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338777253&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Iceman-Cometh-Jerry-Butler/dp/B005N0TZY4/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338764134&sr=1-1-spell" target="_hplink">Jerry Butler - The Ice Man Cometh</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Great-Adventures-Slick-Rick/dp/B0000024K3/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338777115&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Slick Rick - The Great Adventures of Slick Rick </a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Ike-Turner-The-Bad-Man/dp/B004QEZBPU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1338763391&sr=8-2" target="_hplink">Ike Turner - The Bad Man</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Marauders-Tribe-Called-Quest/dp/B0000004ZA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338774660&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Good-Times-Kool-Gang/dp/B000001EKC/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338763598&sr=1-2" target="_hplink">Kool & The Gang - Good Times</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Electric-Ladyland-Jimi-Hendrix-Experience/dp/B000002P5U/ref=sr_1_7?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338763913&sr=1-7" target="_hplink">Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Rebel-Music-Bob-Marley/dp/B000001FY1/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338764384&sr=1-2" target="_hplink">Bob Marley - Rebel Music</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Love-All-Your-Blues-Away/dp/B001F0H67Y/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1338764557&sr=1-1-catcorr" target="_hplink">Lou Rawls - Love All Your Blues Away</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Life-After-Death-Notorious-Big/dp/B0000039QA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338776421&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Come-My-Garden-Minnie-Riperton/dp/B000063BNX/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338764811&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Minnie Riperton - Come to My Garden</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Whitney-Houston/dp/B000002VCQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338829016&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Hurts-So-Good-Millie-Jackson/dp/B000HOJNHK/ref=sr_1_8?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338764917&sr=1-8" target="_hplink">Millie Jackson - It Hurts So Good</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Aquemini-Outkast/dp/B00000BKI1/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338776606&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Outkast - Aquemini</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Inspiration-Maze/dp/B00022FWKY/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338765059&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Maze - Inspiration</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Back-World-Curtis-Mayfield/dp/B000B9WDIW/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338765164&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Curtis Mayfield - Back to the World</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Mothership-Connection-Parliament/dp/B00008RV1A/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338765320&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Parliament - Mothership Connection</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Rapture-Anita-Baker/dp/B000002H38/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338828758&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Anita Baker - Rapture</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Ecstasy-Ohio-Players/dp/B000MTOL3Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338765420&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Ohio Players - Ecstasy</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Juicy-Fruit-Mtume/dp/B0012GMXQU/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338765548&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Mtume - Juicy Fruit</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Loves-Sunshine-Roy-Ayers/dp/B000001FNN/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338765785&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Roy Ayers - Everybody Love the Sunshine</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/War/dp/B0000032US/ref=sr_1_10?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338765923&sr=1-10" target="_hplink">War - War</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/All-Eyez-Me-2Pac/dp/B00005AQE8/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338774505&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">2 Pac - All Eyez on Me </a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Rumors-Timex-Social-Club/dp/B00004ZJ0C/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338766142&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Times Social Club - Rumors</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Right-On-MotownSelect-com/dp/B000VZV6QQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338766227&sr=1-2" target="_hplink">The Supremes - Right On</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/King-Rock-Run-Dmc/dp/B00000J7IR/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338777043&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Run DMC - King of Rock</a>

  • Iconic Album Covers

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Death-Certificate-Ice-Cube/dp/B000003B7W/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1338775345&sr=1-2" target="_hplink">Ice Cube - Death Certificate</a>