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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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...