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Pleading for redemption, R. Kelly steps back into the light

Pleading for redemption, R. Kelly steps back into the light
Courtesy of Jive Records
Pleading for redemption, R. Kelly steps back into the light

With that little line, Mahon nearly steals the whole show. But not quite. Kelly's singing throughout the album is passionate and playful. His phrasing and ad libs are inspired. His lyrics are direct and large-hearted, whether he's delivering antiwar messages (there are a lot of them) or step-dance anthems or gospel testimonials. From the sounds of it, his return to faith is absolutely sincere, and his reformation is the real deal. Then again, the stage set of Kelly's current tour includes a jail cell in which he simulates sex with his backup dancers. How sensitive and repentant! Okay, so he's the real deal and a con artist. People, to repeat, are complex.

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