Wednesday 13 May 2015

'Love Sex Passion' by Raheem DeVaughn [album review]

Raheem DeVaughn is one of those artists who really shows someone how it’s done.  I consider myself quite a champion of DeVaughn’s music – notwithstanding the excellent caliber of it, I always find myself impressed by the man’s work ethic more than anything else – now having released his fifth album since 2005’s ‘The Love Experience’, as well as a slew of mixtapes and an immeasurable amount of guest appearances ranging from Kev Brown, Jazzy Jeff, Talib Kweli, Guru, T-Pain, Ghostface Killah, among countless others, you really get the sense that this is a hungry young artist who’s in it for the long haul.

‘Love Sex Passion’ does nothing to dispel that notion.  Raheem, regardless of who he works with, can always boast that signature sound – his is an inimitable voice and when married with production that’s heavily inspired by old school aesthetics, it makes for a very unique and contemporary blend of R&B and soul.  That ‘unique blend’ is presented here over seventeen tracks that clocks in at 76 minutes, demonstrating that there’s clearly still an enthusiasm for his music and plenty for people to connect with here.

The long-running production chemistry with Kenny Dope isn’t on display this time round (note their previous gems ‘Hopeless Romantic’, ‘Guess Who Loves You More’ and ‘My Wife’) but former collaborator, Chucky Thompson, does show up on two tracks for production as well as awesome funk & soul trombonist, Trombone Shorty, who earns himself a guest spot on ‘Pretty Lady’.  The album marks a notably more mature sound which some of his previous songs probably weren’t aiming to capture, like ‘B.o.B. (Battery Operated Boyfriend)’ and ‘Microphone’ – ah yes, ‘Microphone’, the song that compares a stage to his body, and the microphone to his… well, let’s just say I’m way too prudish to finish that line off.

Highlights this time round include the aforementioned ‘Pretty Lady’, ‘Miss Your Sex’ and ‘Nothing Without You’ but the album really boasts few duds.  ‘Love Sex Passion’ is an excellent contribution to 2015 and the album also works as an excellent introduction to Raheem DeVaughn for anyone who isn’t too familiar with past songs or releases.  If you do fall into the latter category, hopefully this will be the album to change that.

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