R. Kelly - U Saved Me
By Rene Williams
R. Kelly is undisputedly one of the kings of R&B. Heís been making songs that have made people experience all sorts of emotions for years now. Although heís known for many sexually suggestive songs, heís also well-known for writing inspirational hits like Michael Jacksonís You Are Not Alone, I Believe I Can Fly, and Iím Your Angel (a duet with Celine Dion). Heís recently released a double-CD called Happy People/U Saved Me. The 2-disc set is a combination of up-tempo urban grooves (Happy People) and laid-back gospel songs (U Saved Me).
The first track on U Saved Me is entitled 3-Way Phone Call. The song contains relaxed musical banter between Kelly Price, Kim Burrell and Maurice Mahon, winner of the ďChicago IdolĒ contest. The tune finds Kelly singing from the point of view of someone going through trying times and looking for some spiritual sense of direction. Written by Kelly, as are all of the songs on the U Saved Me CD, the track, a sparse one with just bass and keyboards, has a strong sense of realism. The title tune is an incredible song with a mixture of powerful testimonies, is textured with a gospel feel and backed by a choir. The song, one of the most inspiring by Kelly, is getting love from radio, gospel and mainstream stations alike.
Prayer Changes Things finds Kelly reminiscing about growing up and the challenges he faced. The smooth cut ends with the Lord coming to his rescue and delivering him time and time again. How Did You Manage showcases Kelly as he croons about the greatness of God. The songís theme centers around his inability to understand Godís forgiveness. Produced and arranged by Kelly, as are all the songs on this project, the song has a quiet vibe but a strong soulful character.
I Surrender opens with Kelly talking about trusting God even when times are rough. He sings about not depending on man and leaning totally on the Lord. When I Think About You finds Kelly singing about the joy that enters his heart when he thinks about God. The Diary Of Me is strongly reminiscent of the style of Stevie Wonder. Spirit has a more ethereal sound yet at the same time contains a traditional, choir-backed gospel sound. Leap Of Faith is a song of dedication and thankfulness to God. He thanks God for helping him to take that ďleap of faithĒ and keeping ďhope aliveĒ. The closing tune Peace has strong African influences including African rhythms and beats. The song pleads for Godís peace all around the world. Itís a fitting cut to close with.
- Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago's Best of Both Worlds
- Myron Butler's "Worship"
- Amber Bullock's "Thank You"
- Theresa Pinkney - "Me Against the World"
- Martha Munizzi - "Make It Loud"
- Donald Lawrence's "Your Righteous Mind"