Early in his career, Jaheim
focused so much on the gritty side of life that his first three albums actually had the word 'ghetto' in the title. And even though his fourth album, The Makings of a Man
, was more mature, there was still a few tales about the beautiful ugliness of life. But on his latest release, Another Round
, released in the U.S on Feb. 9, 2010, it seems like Jah had been on top of the world while making the album and in a really good place emotionally, because most of the songs here are uptempo, shiny-happy tunes and only a few are old-fashioned bump-n-grind bedroom ballads.
A perfect example of Jaheim
's newfound happy-go-lucky attitude is the album's first single, "Ain't Leavin' Without You."
The song, which is about a man who meets a woman so fine that he vows right then and there to make her his, has got a catchy melody and simple, easy-to-remember lyrics. An example: "Hey! How ya doin'?, Baby, what'cha gettin' into?/I don't know what your name is or who you came with, but I ain't leavin' without you." The song is very radio- and video-show friendly but it's also ordinary and formulaic, almost to the point of being cliche. The remix even includes the tried and true formula of adding a few verses from a rapper, in this case, Jadakiss of hip-hop trio the Lox.
A couple of other examples of fun songs are "Her," a loving, uptempo ode to his soulmate, and the title track, "Another Round," which as the title suggests, is about getting tipsy at the bar (and then busy in the bedroom). But although almost all of the 13 songs on the album are upbeat musically, Jaheim does dip a few toes in the pool of drama that he was known for earlier in his career, most notably on "Bed is Listening," a lyrically genius song about a rocky relationship that's smoothed out with the aid of make-up sex and pillow talk.
Overall, the thing that makes Another Round worthwhile is the vocals; since his debut Jaheim has one of the most rich and buttery-smooth voices in music, and this album's no exception. His song content may be less urban than cosmopolitan these days, but he's got such a great voice that he could sing the phone book and it would still shine.