Love Letter

  • Record Label: Jive
  • Release Date: Dec 14, 2010
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. Jan 10, 2011
    88
    On Love Letter, he does away with the freakiness and lays down a full record of slow-simmered, grown-man emoting. And it feels like a wayward husband who's finally come home for good.
  2. Jan 5, 2011
    83
    Warm, reassuringly familiar, and as soothing as a cup of cocoa on a frosty winter afternoon, Love Letter delivers.
  3. Jan 7, 2011
    82
    Love Letter is mostly poised, polished, and lush beyond belief.
  4. Jan 6, 2011
    80
    A definite return to form.
  5. Dec 20, 2010
    80
    It's a back-to-basics collection of beautifully sung and arranged tracks emphasizing romance and devotion.
  6. Dec 17, 2010
    80
    His decision to ditch the club and retreat to a more conventionally romantic setting allows him to let his voice take center stage, which is where it should have been all along.
  7. Dec 13, 2010
    80
    It's easily the least sexually charged album in his discography, ideal for those who admire him as a singer, arranger, and producer but tune out the fantastical come-ons.
  8. Dec 14, 2010
    76
    Given Kelly's absurdly effortless melodic flair, the result certainly satisfies. But Love Letter could use more of his effortless absurdity.
  9. Dec 13, 2010
    75
    This style of music also meant everything to his late mother, whose record collection set Kelly on his path. Love Letter is as much an homage to her as it to the classic soul tracks she loved.
  10. 75
    On Love Letter, R. Kelly does falsetto valentines, flirty Motown bounce, even a Christmas remix of single Love Letter that involves zero funny business under the mistletoe.
  11. Feb 23, 2011
    70
    Love Letter is more like a respite, a detour from the beaten path we should just be glad exists, and something to cling to when the next porridge of jizz and tears, The Return of 12 Play: Night of the Living Dead, drops wetly on our heads.
  12. 70
    This is a lights off and candles lit album, not a club album. You may think the kind words are more from the kitsch value of R. Kelly, but I assure you they are not. Give it some spins, and decide.
  13. Dec 14, 2010
    70
    It's a testament to Kelly's ingenuity as a singer and songwriter that Love Letter doesn't fizzle - even with the fly zipped up on his wildest eccentricities.
  14. Dec 14, 2010
    70
    In the main Mr. Kelly has kept his baser instincts in check, without damaging the creative spark they typically give shape to. What remains are, in essence, secular spirituals, bombastic and warm, meant not to raise an eyebrow.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. dz9
    Jul 30, 2011
    10
    There is no other way to put this album. It is amazing, one of the first albums I can hit play and listen to its entirety, R. Kelly has notThere is no other way to put this album. It is amazing, one of the first albums I can hit play and listen to its entirety, R. Kelly has not put out a "great album" in a while, and on this one. You do kind of miss the sensual soul of his famous works, but he does mix it in with some of his songs and creates a good balance between the freaky and the mature. The Good: great vocals, amazing lyrics. The Bad: there is none. A true delivery for RnB fans and R. Kelly fans alike. Full Review »
  2. Jan 6, 2011
    9
    R. Kelly said on his documentary that with this album he made a U-turn in time, going back to the 50's and 60's for inspiration. This isR. Kelly said on his documentary that with this album he made a U-turn in time, going back to the 50's and 60's for inspiration. This is totally true, but even more importantly he made a shift from the insincere and cringe-inducing punch lines to sincere and clever romantic declarations. With his signature voice, feeling and clever writing applied to this subject, these tracks aren't corny like those on all of his other albums because he treats us to something we don't hear too much of in today's music: love and devotion. Who would guess that romantic music would sell in today's world? It's a bold and admirable move from him as an artist, but it paid off big time, and here's for bringing the love songs back to the radio.

    Note: this album is not revolutionary. But it is immaculately arranged and performed and only 1 or 2 tracks are regularly skip-worthy, so I'd give it 8.5, which rounds up to 9 for Metacritic.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 3, 2011
    8
    I am amazed. I didn't think that R. Kelly could pull something like this off so good. I loved all his old stuff from 12 Play and R. But II am amazed. I didn't think that R. Kelly could pull something like this off so good. I loved all his old stuff from 12 Play and R. But I didn't think much of all his new stuff. But this is something else. Shows that R. Kelly doesn't have to be explicit to be R. Kelly. Great stuff. Full Review »