Blessings Are Missed In The Wink Of An Eye

I’m of two minds when it comes to today’s Morning Groove artist. On the one hand, he’s a very talented singer, capable of doing Sam Cooke-like tricks when he sings. On the other hand, he can waste that voice on some very weak and lazy material. And that’s not even discussing his personal issues outside of music; I’m speaking strictly of his musical talent. I’m going to try and keep his outside issues separate from this post, though I imagine for many it is difficult to compartmentalize the artist from his own life.

For me, at least when it comes to today’s Morning Groove, I’ve chosen the good R. Kelly. What’s good is that the singer and the song are good. Today’s Morning Groove is “If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time.”

On songs like this one, or “Step In The Name Of Love,” or on complete albums like Love Letter and Write Me Back, Kelly can sound as great as his imagination will allow him to. That’s not to say he doesn’t sound great on other songs, it’s that in his chase to make hits, he’s come up with material that doesn’t match the gift he has in that voice. I like a lot of those songs too: “Fiesta,” the “Ignition” remix, “Bump N’ Grind” (the original and the remix) for example are great R&B and/or Pop hits. But the material, at least to me, is less than stellar.

When I first heard this song, I remember thinking, “wow, this sounds like a song Sam Cooke would own if he sung it.” To me, this song reminds me of the great Cooke, one of the first great male singers in the R&B genre. It has that chorus that Cooke would give several of his signature “woah” vocal licks or ad-libs. While Kelly is an extremely talented vocalist, he doesn’t exactly sing the song the way Cooke would. He still gives an outstanding vocal though, one that I think Cooke would like.

Commercial considerations being what they are, there aren’t going to be too many albums from R. Kelly that sound like the ones I mentioned earlier, or songs like these featured as singles. Songs like these don’t get a whole lot of love in what currently passes for R&B or on stations that purport to play it. Maybe the urban adult contemporary stations would (and probably do) play songs like these, but there aren’t many of the songs those stations feature that do well on the R&B charts. Amazingly, this particular song actually made the R&B top 5, and just missed the Pop top 10 back in 1999. I think it would face a tougher road in today’s marketplace.

Enjoy today’s Morning Groove; and as always, thanks for listening and reading.

 

36 Replies to “Blessings Are Missed In The Wink Of An Eye”

  1. I kind of forgot about him! I think he’s really talented despite his personal problems. I still like this one a lot and others.
    I miss the days when Jordan played 😦 Everyone liked Jordan! Remember that movie “Space Jam?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree that his personal troubles played a part in him not being a bigger artist. However, it seems that he can do little wrong on the R&B side. I think he is more hit and miss with a lot of stuff. He’s had hits with songs that I don’t think are that great, which may be a testament of sorts to his talent.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. “I Believe I Can Fly” may be his greatest musical achievement, as opposed to singing “You Remind Me Of My Jeep.” LOL. Seriously though, it is a very inspirational song, and should be the one song that people point to when they marvel at how talented Kelly is. I’d rather it be that song, or today’s song instead of that “Trapped In The Closet” series.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! That one (“Down Low”) I actually liked. He has a lot of songs I like that may not be top-quality songs. But it’s songs like “Fly” and today’s that show what he can do with good material when he wants to.

        R. Kelly station! Oh my! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  2. R. Kelly is kinda touch and go with me. I do have to admit that I love the jams that he makes for the steppas!
    But I do NOT like those little mini-dramas that he likes to do!
    I just wish he was a bit more reliable; especially when you consider how talented he is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL @ mini-dramas! Let’s see, “Down Low,” “Be Careful” (those two I love), “Trapped In The Closet” (er, no). “Step In The Name Of Love,” absolutely yes. Today’s song, absolutely yes. And a bunch of other hits, some I love, some I don’t. But yes, absolutely talented…but the material lets him down a lot of times, even if he can turn it into a top hit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! That album, Write Me Back and the one that preceded it, Love Letter were both in that retro vein. And both were pretty good too. Then he left that behind to put out that Black Panties mess.SMH

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahahaha! Yep that was the name of the album. I never actually listened to it fully, but I read the reviews and heard it was one of his “sex” albums. He has since followed that with The Buffet, which has its share of sex songs, but also has one for the steppers called “Backyard Party.” That one’s alright.

        BackYard Band has put their go-go spin on “Backyard Party.” Maybe one day I’ll put both of them up for review. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      3. LOL! Anyway while y’all looking at R Kelly and My Jams ’87, your girl done went all the way back to My Jams ’71 listening to K Jee by the Nite Liters then I’m gonna listen to the MFSB version! YAAASSSS!

        Liked by 1 person

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