Lady Gaga and R. Kelly Make Surprisingly Beautiful Music Together

Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 21 2013 11:54 AM

Lady Gaga and R. Kelly Make Surprisingly Beautiful Music Together

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Lady Gaga

Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for MTV

At first blush, a Lady Gaga-R. Kelly collaboration does not seem like a guaranteed success: Her electro-pop dance and his baby-making R&B soul jams are not obvious bedfellows. And their respective output as of late has been rather underwhelming: “Applause,” a merely adequate club song, is an uninspiring retread of the hits on Gaga’s first album, and Kelly’s recent efforts have taken his sexual metaphors in rather lazy and disturbing directions.

Still, the duo works surprisingly well together on “Do What U Want,” the latest single off Gaga’s upcoming album. The mid-tempo groove nicely blends her affinity for ’80s synth and his appreciation for songs about sex. And the lyrics’ mix of suggestiveness and contemplation in interesting ways. Consider the chorus: “You can’t stop my voice ’cause / You don't own my life but / Do what you want (with my body).”

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The result is a song that features solid, R&B-tinged vocals and a catchy chorus that will likely play well on the dance scene. Enjoy.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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