Jaheim: Another Round

Posted September 13, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

“Ghetto” crooner gets another round, but this time it’s brushed with sophisticated soul and romance

With Teddy Pendergrass unfortunately no longer with us, Jaheim – who has been easily compared to him due to his gruffy low register – now stands in his shadows to deliver what may be considered his best solo project to date. Teetering on the edges of hip-hop’s machoism in the past, Jaheim, on Another Round, focuses this time around on stronger, contagious R&B grooves, delicious lyrics and a fiercer style to revive old-school ‘70s soul deliveries. He still sounds and appears modern (look at the song titles), but his sense of nostalgia creates a record that celebrates soul icons like Luther Vandross (“Finding My Way Back”) even slyly sampling De La Soul’s hip-hop score “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)” and the Whatnauts’ disco gem “Help Is On the Way” into the infectious dance tune “Ain’t Leavin Without You.” “Whoa” bears a few traits via classic R. Kelly but simmers more in a marinated ‘70s vibe and doo-wop harmonies. “II Pink Lines,” another tender spot on the album, slips Southern soul guitar plunks into a hip-hop interface that entertains the soul lover and Jaheim’s young crowd.

The ballads are also excellently delivered like the inspiring melodies of “Til It Happens to You,” which blends pop galore into a light R&B beat, and the bedroom galore of “Closer.” “In My Hands” echoes the comfortable melody of Teddy Pendergrass’s “You’re the Latest, My Greatest Inspiration” while allowing Jaheim to exercise both Will Downing and Luther Vandross crooning.

“Impossible,” probably the biggest blunder on the record, tries to transplant new lyrics and Jahiem’s relaxed vocal on a sample of Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman.” The performance feels quite predictable and doesn’t give much justice to Jaheim’s re-invention nor the classic ballad. Another upset: the second half of Another Round doesn’t seem to generate much spark as the first half.

In conclusion, it’s good to know that Jahiem is finding his niche’ more and more comfortable. Before he focused more on his troubled upbringing of ghetto life (found on Ghetto Love, Still Ghetto and Ghetto Classics) and even walked a thin line in labeling himself the “self-proclaimed voice of R&B.” On Another Round, it feels as if Jaheim had an injection of humility and decided to toss aside the pride and all the glitz that comes with hip-hop albums these days just to focus on what was more important: the music. Even though it bears the trademarks of a Jahiem record, Another Round, a gentleman’s record, is more of a new start and an easier path in reaching an appropriate place next to the classy voices of R&B.




  • Release Date: 09 Feb 2010
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Producers: Kaygee, Jaheim, J.R. Roten, Balewa Muhammad, Mama’s Boys, Harold Lily, Clifton Lighty, Chuck Harmony
  • Track Favs: Ain’t Leavin Without You, Whoa, Til It Happens to You, Find My Way Back, I Pink Lines, Her

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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