T0 be a true R&B thug, one has to be self-absorbed to the point it borders on pathological. One look at the pictures of R. Kelly – half-dressed and pensive – that adorn the liner notes to “TP-2.com” tells us that he has a profound love for himself.
Not to say that a little confidence isn’t in order for the man. After all, when it comes to writing incredible songs, few can hold a candle to the Chicago native.
Everyone has heard the lead single off the album, “I Wish,” a reminiscent track dedicated to a lost friend. This song comes in a familiar radio edit and a hot remix.
“A Woman’s Threat” is a dramatic and surprising accusation, sung from the standpoint of Kelly’s spurned lover. “Like a Real Freak,” with its Latino sound, is the only mediocre track on the CD, but it sets up the hot jam “Fiesta,” featuring Jadakiss of the Lox.
All in all, the production is sharp with some really clever vocal arrangements throughout the disc. Lyrically, though, “TP-2.com” (as in Twelve Play, his 1993 album) has a lot of recycled catch phrases. Y0u’ll hear a lot of “freak me’s,” a “bump ’n’ grind” or two, and more than one “12 p1ay” uttered.
If you are searching for the next big ballad, a la “I Believe I Can F1y,” only “I Wish” and the closing cut, “The Storm Is Over Now” come close. Out of 19 tracks, only one is even close to being a dud.
R. Kelly may have peers capable of producing better tracks now and then, but when it comes to crafting an entire album full of quality stuff, this guy has no peers. At least for the time being.