The golden (shower) boy of R&B is releasing his new album with the intention of “doubling up” everything he did in the past, and succeeds to some degree: This latest exercise doubles up on the generic club bangers and weird sexual innuendo. Thankfully, Kelly stayed away from his alleged urine-related sexual mishaps.
Double Up begins with what has become standard fare on rap and R&B albums these days. It’s tough to find a song on this disc that doesn’t involve being at the club. The title track illustrates the need for a man to have not just one pretty girl, but one on each arm, at the club. “Leave Your Name” is an extended answering-machine message detailing how Kelly can’t answer his phone due to a life of excess … at the club. “Trying to Get a Number” is about, well, trying to get a number, at the club, of course. And “Freaky in the Club” is a heartfelt sonic masterpiece about his real-life problems — at the club.
Kelly also manages to double up on audacity. After an hour of debauchery in the club and tacky, freaky tales that liken sex to space and the zoo, he has the nerve to end the album with a song dedicated to the Virginia Tech tragedy. And though it could be considered a sweet gesture, it’s bad form to hold a vigil barely minutes after fucking like noisy animals in space.
Kelly states in the intro track, Like MJ at five, I will six-peat, which doesn’t make much sense, considering this is his tenth studio release. In any case, it’s more fitting to compare Kelly to Kobe Bryant. Both were indicted for sex crimes and faced the task of clearing their names. Kobe bounced back to launch a professional onslaught over the past two years — even scoring 81 points in one game, a feat that overshadowed his legal woes. Double Up is no 81-point game. In fact, it should be penalized 81 points just for the Virginia Tech tribute. Now, let the piss jokes continue.