R. Kelly: “Double Up”
Producers: various
Release Date: May 29

Aside from radio-pumped singles "I'm a Flirt Remix" and "Same Girl," it's a very sexually explicit R. Kelly who greets fans on this outing. Opening with the short posturing track "The Champ" ("I've been through hell in the belly of the beast/You can hate me, I don't care"), Kelly isn't shy about quickly getting down to boudoir business. The title track with Snoop Dogg outlines a tryst with two females, while additional variations on sexual interplay abound on such cuts as "Tryin' to Get a Number" with Nelly and "Freaky in the Club." After describing lovemaking via two radically different motifs -- the jungle ("The Zoo") and outer space ("Sex Planet") -- Kelly downshifts into traditional mode on the heartfelt ballad "Havin' a Baby" and the Virginia Tech anthem "Rise Up." This jarring juxtaposition only underscores Kelly's Marvin Gaye-reminiscent struggle between the carnal and the spiritual. --Gail Mitchell