Thursday, March 4, 2010
Album Review: Raheem DeVaughn "Love And War Masterpeace"
Raheem DeVaughn's latest CD is like open mic night at a jazz cafe. The album
includes socially conscious interludes from Princeton professor and activist
Dr. Cornel West, a collaboration with spoken word artist Malik Yusef and
plenty passionate, finger snap-worthy love songs delivered in hushed tones.
DeVaughn sings about domestic abuse on "Black & Blue" and violence overseas
and in the 'hood on first single "Bulletproof," featuring rapper Ludacris.
Then several tracks later, he croons about the limits to having a
relationship with a "battery-operated boyfriend" on the cheeky "B.O.B."
The duality shows DeVaughn doesn't take himself too seriously. Besides, his
sweet voice makes every song sound like it's coming from a good place,
whether he's reminding a woman to love herself on the upbeat "The
Greatness," featuring Wale, or exercising his falsetto on the sexy
The less-than-subtle tune "Microphone," is a misstep, but it's quickly
forgotten once you hear the chimes and drums on slow-burning "Garden of
Love" and the steamy "Fragile," featuring Yusef.
In one interlude, West calls DeVaughn "the greatest soul singer of his
generation," and while that's to be determined, the singer is making a