Untitled is the ninth studio album by American R&B recording artist R. Kelly. It was released, by Jive Records and Sony Music on November 30, 2009 in the UK; while it was released on December 1, 2009 in the US. It was entirely produced by R. Kelly and features prominently carnal lyrical themes.
The album debuted at number 4 on the US Billboard 200, selling 110,000 in its first week, making it his ninth top five album on that chart, and reached the top of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, selling 350,000 copies in total US domestically to date.Untitled received generally mixed reviews from contemporary music critics.
In 2008, the album's title was initially supposed to be released under the name 12 Play: 4th Quarter, however, that version of this project leaked before release and so it was decided that the whole project should be re-recorded.
Both second and third singles, "Religious" (released on October 10, 2009) and "Echo" (released on January 2010), underquoted this success with peak positions of numbers 48 and 52 respectively on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, never making it to the official Hot 100.
The album debuted at number 4 on the US Billboard 200, selling 110,000 copies in its first week, marking his ninth top 5 album on the chart. On March 27, 2010, the album has currently sold 334,000 copies in the United States.
Untitled received generally mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 62, based on 15 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".Allmusic writer Andy Kellman gave it three-and-a-half out of five stars and called it "a simple, concept-free, creatively unambitious R&B album". Mikael Wood of Spin complimented the album's "fresh raunch", noting "'Bangin' the Headboard' and 'Pregnant' (as in 'You make me wanna get you…') are bawdy even by Kelly's considerable standards". Tom Horan of The Daily Telegraph praised Kelly's "unwavering focus" and stated, "should headboard-banging be in the offing, this will make a fine accompaniment."
In a mixed review, The A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin gave the album a C+ rating and commented that it "feels generic". Drew Hinshaw of The Village Voice found it lacking any "larger themes from Untitled's sex seminars" and stated, "It's tragic to see a master of r&b finesse fall back onto a childish, domineering bent that comes off as boorish, entitled, and mean-spirited."Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot wrote that Kelly "massages simple (and sometimes simplistic) words into hooks through phrasing that is pliant, inventive, audacious, sometimes silly", commenting that "That ardor is framed by music that is everything his lyrics are not: subtle, ornate, at times downright refined. As a producer and arranger, he is meticulous with detail, orchestrating hand claps, finger snaps and drum machines to create just the right rhythm backdrop for an evening of 'wooo and weee'".Jon Pareles of The New York Times found the album "routine" for Kelly, although he stated, "Still, even a routine R. Kelly song outshines much of the competition."