Sunday, 6 December 2009

R. Kelly - Relief

Yes, this is another post about R. Kelly. Sorry, i just find him inherently fascinating. I first heard 'Relief' at the start of the year and instantly fell for it. Not having a copy of it on mp3 meant that after a while I forgot to put it on via Youtube. This week though, whilst sat in a seminar on The Wind in the Willows, it came back to me. Or at least snatches of it did. I couldn't remember the title and thus resorted to trawling through sites that featured lyrics to all his songs and I even posted about it on the frankly terrifying I Love Music messageboard. Then it came to me. Relief! It was called Relief!

'Relief' is one of the several R.Kelly songs that see going out dancing not only as a form of relief from the drudgery of the working week but as a form of redemption and salvation. The chorus is Kelly at his best:

What a relief to know that we are one
What a relief that the war is over
What a relief to know that there's an angel in the sky
What a relief to know that love is still alive

It's difficult to listen to his material of this nature without thinking that there must be a link between the songs and his tortured personal, but now public, life. Kelly is someone who comes across in his songs as having a slight messianic complex: he talks of offering us relief as if only he was able to do so. Of course, as with all his slow jams, the power and importance of love is prevalent; his need to feel loved is, at times, creepy, but here he manages to just sound honest about it. The love he seeks is God's, he wants to be absolved for all his sins.

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