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Album Review

Jaheim, 'Another Round'

February 8, 2010

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Jaheim’s new soulful record, his fifth, shows off his mature vocal styling that harkens back to classic R&B while still sounding thoroughly contemporary. This is a very solid set that places its emphasis on the vocalist’s smooth, rich tone and effortless phrasing. At 32, Jaheim is smart enough to know that he can’t play the horn-dog role so many of his peers pretend to inhabit, so “Another Round’’ is about relationships without the usual gratuitous sexcapade descriptiveness. He settles into a nice steady groove on the immensely appealing “Ain’t Leaving Without You’’ and on the vibrant “Whoa’’ as he struggles to articulate his feelings to his lover. The problem is that the set lacks the wow factor and never turns up the heat. The songwriting is assured but never inspired. The first single, the title track, is an obvious shot at the charts, and it serves its purpose, but it feels out of context with the rest of the songs. Working with producers like J.R. Rotem and his longtime collaborator Kaygee, Jaheim crafts a supremely polished set that will delight the ladies, but a lot of this feels a little too safe. (Out tomorrow)

KEN CAPOBIANCO

R&B
Jaheim Another Round
Atlantic
ESSENTIAL “Ain’t Leaving Without You’’