• 21

    R. Kelly - Best Old Music

    Score: 9.6

    What can we say about the controversial, storied, and absurd work of R. Kelly that hasn't already been chronicled? He's a man of many shadows and shades, but the way he shines onstage is breathtaking. A diamond pattern of sequins studded his white tee, and he donned the casual attire of a striped hoodie and Bulls baseball hat for the hometown show. But there was nothing casual about his 38-song setlist, or the thundering first notes to "Ignition (Remix)."

    I'm a journalist and supposed to be cool and casual but I was screaming along in glee as soon as I heard those initial "bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce" lyrics. There was nothing casual about his glittering, jewel-encrusted microphone or the dove-shaped balloons he let loose for moving closer "I Believe I Can Fly." Kelly might have a checkered past and a challenging relationship to the current musical climate, but as an artist who has been making passionate, beautiful music since before I was born, I can only write of my admiration for his craft.—Caitlin White