Album review

Jaheim - Still Ghetto

"Special Day" is just one of the tracks where New Jersey's Jaheim perfects an audacious match of R&B ancient and modern: his high, grainy voice slides from church supplication to soul abandon, bathed in strings, harmonies and brass, the singing, playing and arranging as lush and heartfelt as any jukebox favourite, even as they bounce in a subtly digital mix. Dedicated to his dead mother, Still Ghetto reflects on relationships with women with a warmth rap refuses, but the downbeat title track dives into Jaheim's home streets with dark sympathy worthy of Curtis Mayfield circa Back To The World.

Rating: 4 / 10


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The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...