Jaheim – Another Round
2 stars out of 5
With the “music” (and I use the term loosely) that is on the radio today, many of us like to take a nostalgic look back for better music. An easy place to look is the 90’s. Times were simpler then and music just seemed to be vibrant. However, there is a difference between creating an album that pays homage to the 90’s era and an album that sounds dated — Another Round is the latter of the two. Jaheim has always had an adult contemporary R&B sound that at times boarder on Philly “Quiet Storm.” This album doesn’t tread any new ground, and for the life of me it sounds like a 2010 remake of a 90’s Christopher Williams album (and not in a good way), although Christopher Williams’ 2001 release Real Men Do was pretty solid…and yes I’m the only one in the world who bought it.
The major failing of the album is songwriting. “Whoa” has a reference to the movie “Hustle and Flow”, and on “Closer” he tells his lover he wants to her to “spread out like a poster”. What?! Really Jaheim, really? But it only gets worse from there. “II Pink Lines” is a song about a pregnancy test. He should have peed on a little stick that could have told him this song was a failure and that he should abort! The title track sounds like a song Usher would do when he turns 45 and “Her” is John Legend’s “Green Light” done over with a flute and acoustic guitar in the place of the synths.
The only song that seems to salvage this poorly constructed album is the semi-inspirational-kinda-churchy-I-swear-I’ll-do-right-by-you song “Till It Happens To You”; the song really doesn’t get off the ground until the coda — once it hits, he lets loose and gets saved. “In My Hands” sounds like a Luther Vandross demo or lost tape and for that very reason I like it. If Jaheim focused his attention to this style of music it would greatly improve his musical standing.
Over all, this album boils down to poor song selection and time warped production. Sorry Jaheim, I’ll have to pass on this round.