Release Date: Dec 11, 2015
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): R&B, Adult Contemporary R&B, Contemporary R&B
Go to any buffet-style restaurant in Everytown, USA and you’re bound to find whatever you enjoy eating in unlimited supply. Whether it’s seafood, vegetables, steak, ribs, chicken or ice cream, and cookies, no matter which food whets your appetite, the result will always be the same. Over the years, R. Kelly has cooked up a lot of different music to sample.
The Buffet, R. Kelly’s 13th album, is like the 12 before it: hard to enjoy objectively. Per usual, we’re confronted with the prospect of an allegedly videotaped (and several-times testified against) statutory rapist trying to sweet-talk us for almost the duration of the thing. One development that made the cognitive dissonance more palatable post-trial was that the man behind such straight-faced mating calls as “Bump ‘n’ Grind” and “Feelin on Yo’ Booty” developed a sense of humor that sort of preemptively parodied himself before the growing mass of haters could reroute his success.
"Good evening, ladies," R. Kelly announces at the start of The Buffet. "Shall we start with hors d'oeuvres? I can tell your body's been lacking the platter of satisfaction your body deserves." His metaphor of choice on his 13th album might be culinary, but it's all sex on the menu. What, you were hungry for something else at Chez Kelly? That'd be like ordering sashimi at Western Sizzlin.
Robert Kelly remains driven as ever to take a metaphorical theme to a comedic extreme and then deviate from it in direct and explicit fashion. He does so from the start of The Buffet, an album released almost exactly two years after the thin Black Panties. In the voice-only "The Poem," he sets the tone -- make that table -- by announcing that he'll be "toasting your juices all night." If that doesn't get the point across, he makes a slurping sound, for five seconds, that could make Hannibal Lecter shudder.
R Kelly is one of the comic geniuses of our times. Not convinced? See ‘Trapped In The Closet’, his 33-part online “hip hopera” (his phrase) featuring pimps, midgets and gay priests bound together in an intricate web of infidelity and deceit. If you don’t howl with laughter you have a medically diagnosable sense of humour failure.Of course, Kelly is unaware of his God-given comic talent.
You don’t need to know that R. Kelly wrote, by his own count, 462 songs in preparation for “The Buffet,” his 13th album, to understand that he is a protean character. (It’s nice to know it, though: 462 is a comical number.) The spirit of not getting stuck is an integral part of Mr. Kelly’s work, even more than his specialization in super-sexed subject matter.
Chris Brown performs this month in Chicago. His new album, “Royalty,” came out Friday and vaulted to the top of the iTunes chart. Chris Brown performs this month in Chicago. His new album, “Royalty,” came out Friday and vaulted to the top of the iTunes chart.. Hours after a judge in ….