Friday, 2 April 2010

2003 R Kelly: Ignition (Remix)

The self styled 'King of R&B', to date Kelly has enjoyed over a decade of success as writer, performer and producer of a succession of songs that, by and large, have rarely made any impression on me other than indifference. That's a dismissive statement I know, but while I can't say that I'm a huge fan of too much modern R&B in the round in any case, Kelly's own brand of braggadocio is not something I care for in any quantity. But in saying that, I am fond of 'Ignition (Remix). Why? Well its simplicity for one, along with a call-back to 'proper' R&B as I understand it to mean. Because despite that 'Remix' suffix suggesting another plateful of over indulgent fussiness, 'Ignition' has looseness of a rough demo, and its inherent good cheer generates a carefree summer shimmer that always puts me in mind of Otis Redding's '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay' in its couldn't care less hedonism for hedonism's sake, even if Kelly has more on his mind than just watching some ships sailing by.

"I'm like so what I'm drunk, it's the freakin weekend baby I'm about to have me some fun"). Fun, yes - 'Ignition' plays out like the soundtrack to the ideal summer that only exists in hindsight (or perhaps the sort of summer we all wish the next one is going to be). Yet though its celebration carries a cocksure, living it large overtone, it's impossible to begrudge Kelly - or anyone else in his shoes - for enjoying themselves in the here and now. And to that end it's helped enormously by a just woken up vocal of gritty laziness and a skipping lyric stuffed full of more sexual innuendo than a bad metal track ("I'm about to take my key and stick it in the ignition"). All of which makes for a song that's rare for modern R&B; 'Ignition' is not something that takes itself seriously, and because it invites everyone in to play, I'm more than happy to be carried along.

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