When we last heard from R. Kelly, he was warbling the “Sign of a Victory,” the official FIFA World Cup anthem. He’s gone from the macro to the micro.

With his new single and video, “When a Woman Loves,” R. Kelly is going old school, conjuring up the spirits of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and even further back to the Platters. The soul ballad, about the power of a good woman’s love, is a bit one-note but it’s so smooth, you just glide along with it, swept away by Kelly’s spot-on vocals.

For the video, directed by Jeremy Rall, Kelly also imitates his predecessors, creating a sleek, stunning B&W performance video that features only him in front of a curtain and then surrounded by microphones. It’s beautifully shot and works perfectly for the song, but it would be a hell of a lot more effective if Maxwell hadn’t done a very similar idea with his clip for “Fistful of Tears,” earlier this year.

“When a Woman Loves” is the first single from Kelly’s 11th studio album, “Love Letter.”

Compare the two and tell us what you think.