Nice Hits! is a Reverb column that unironically dissects, reviews, and appreciates the best songs of the current Top 40. It is unsnobbishly premised on

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Get on the Soula Coaster: R. Kelly's Sharing His Love For the Golden Days of Disco

Nice Hits! is a Reverb column that unironically dissects, reviews, and appreciates the best songs of the current Top 40. It is unsnobbishly premised on the logic that just because a lot of the music on the radio is crap doesn't mean all the music on the radio is crap.

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The hit: "Share My Love," R. Kelly, off the forthcoming Write Me Back.

Current chart position: #54 on iTunes' R&B/Soul chart; #14 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

The team: R. Kelly's a one man team--he's singlehandedly written and produced many of his biggest career hits, including "Ignition (Remix)," "I Believe I Can Fly," "The World's Greatest," "Bump 'n Grind," and this song, "Share My Love." You might say the hits just flow out of him--he's also written and produced songs for a number of past and present pop and R&B stars, including Aaliyah ("Age Ain't Nothing But a Number"), Michael Jackson ("You Are Not Alone"), Blaque ("808"), B2K ("Bump, Bump, Bump"), Britney Spears ("Outrageous"), and Whitney Houston's "I Look to You," which he performed at Houston's funeral back in February.

Breakdown: R. Kelly's been making quite a splash in the past few months--back in November he announced that his autobiography, Soula Coaster: The Diary of Me, would be completed around spring of 2012; in December he performed "I Believe I Can Fly" with The X-Factor champion Melanie Amaro; and just last month the Independent Film Channel announced that Kelly was at work on a third installment of his "Trapped In a Closet" hip-hopera. "Share My Love" comes on the heels of all that news. Kelly's last album, 2010's Love Letter, paid homage to the classic pop soul music pioneered by Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye and spawned the Grammy-nominated powerhouse performance "Radio Message." Write Me Back will be the follow-up to Love Letter, and on "Share My Love," Kelly again appears to be flashing back to eras past, but this time it's a little less soul and a lot more disco. The song's glittering, cascading melodies and fizzy beats sound like none of Kelly's previous songs, but they do sound a hell of a lot like this song:

. . . to the point where you can sing "can't get enough of your love, babe" over the top of "Share My Love"'s chorus. But to be honest, if R. Kelly brought disco back, I wouldn't complain, because "Share My Love" is all kinds of funky and sexy. Kelly's obviously having good clean fun in the video, and his lyrics reflect his winning exuberance: "Now that we're in this room/Let's do what we were born to do/Populate! Let's get together/Populate! Make the world better/Populate!" Did R. Kelly really just take a global concern like overpopulation and turn it into a come-on for casual sex? This guy knows how to keep the good times rolling.

 
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