Monday, 18 August 2014

R. Kelly 'Bump N' Grind'

Chart Peak: 8
'Bump N Grind' was the 4th UK hit in just 8 months for Chicago's Robert Kelly... It made No. 8 in January '95 and followed 'Your Body's Callin', 'Summer Bunnies' and 'She's Got That Vibe' into the chart.
Indeed, there isn't actually anything particularly wrong with a little bump and grind between consenting adults. Anyway, on to R. Kelly, who'd yet to turn into the chart-dominating star he soon was and was just an RnB vocalist with a strong tally of hits behind him. For that matter, this whole style of music wasn't quite mainstream all over the country in the mid-90s, though it certainly seemed to be what the singles buyers of North-West London wanted.

Nostalgia or no nostalgia, this song still isn't very good. In fact, whilst I've warmed to some of this music in the years since it was totally alien to my Britpop-loving teenage self, most of Kelly's music remains equally tasteless and given his success as writer and producer as well as his own hits, I think he deserves a lot of blame for the blandness of the genre (or at least the male-fronted side of it) from this point onwards. At least female singers would often be backed by an innovative production, but male singers seemed to need only some loverman posturing and to repeat the title often enough and there was a Top 10 hit for them. This is perhaps the definitive example of this and so sounds even worse than it actually is.

Also appearing on: Now 28, 29, 37, 40 (with Sparkle), 41, 44, 51, 55, 59
Available on: The Essential R. Kelly

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