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Album review: Jaheim, "Another Round"

By Sarah Godfrey

When Jaheim arrived on the scene with his 2001 debut "Ghetto Love," it was the era of the R&B thug, a time when even the most tender of crooners felt the need to emulate rappers in their dress, attitude and lyrics. But even though the New Jersey singer wore bandanas and a big chain and worked with hip-hop producer Kay Gee of Naughty by Nature, his smooth voice and profanity-free songs made him seem of another era.

(More throwback sounds, after the jump.)

The fact that skinny-suit-wearing crooners delivering earnest soul songs are again the rage has been good for Jaheim. On "Another Round," he fully explores the throwback sound he began moving toward on 2006's "Ghetto Classics" and 2007's "The Makings of a Man."

Jaheim has always been compared to Teddy Pendergrass, but on the flute-tinged "Her," the similarity to the iconic R&B vocalist, who died last month, is especially striking. The deja vu continues with "Impossible," which borrows from "When a Man Loves a Woman"; "Ain't Leavin Without You," one of the springier tracks on the album, gets its bounce from "Help Is on the Way," an oft-sampled song from '70s Baltimore group the Whatnauts.

The only true smudge on "Another Round" is the title track, which reveals that the name of the album isn't a reference to this latest set of songs but to drunken hook-ups. "Words start to slur / It's all over for her," he sings, at which point it makes sense to cut him off.

Recommended tracks: "Her," "Impossible," "Ain't Leavin Without You"

By David Malitz  |  February 16, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags: Jaheim  
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